Arguments For & Against Reserving 35% Affirmative Seat in Governance For Women #Nigeria

Participants at Beehyve & Onelife Initiatives media training.

An argument broke out from a demand women are making about their role and participation in governance especially with the 2019 general elections just around the corner in Nigeria. So here is a discussion that ensued on our media for development partners page oooo…interesting discuss that I am giggling and musing over:

TK (Male) – Well…I don’t believe in 35% affirmative action… How can u reserve 35% of seats for women even if they are incompetent? I believe we should allow women an equal chance but only based on competence… So I disagree with the affirmative action.

SN (male) – In principle, affirmative action was not conceived to jettison merit. It was not designed to give away leadership positions for women without merit. It was to open up space for equal participation. Merit cannot be assumed to have been sacrificed in this matter. Albeit, we have many incompetent men in leadership positions too.

TW (female) – You have just spoken my mind.

Nn (female)  – Are you saying we don’t have incompetent men in leadership positions?

AU (Male) –We’ve had highly competent women in positions of authority before & they’ve delivered even in contemporary Nigeria, so women can also take charge.

TK (Male) I have voted for women and respect many…but within an organization or society where we may not have enough competent women standing up in politics..then to reserve 35% for them is absurd! But, seeding 50% for women who are competent and emerge on merit isn’t a problem for me, I support it. 35% AA is opening more door to mediocrity.

SN (Male) – That is not an absolute. Your statement here presupposes that mediocrity is synonymous with women. It also reeks of an assumption that we don’t have enough competent and qualified women to handle the leadership responsibilities. I am sure you know the two assumptions are not valid. We have them in abundance. You may need to read up why the system is skewed against the women in terms of seeking the elective positions, particularly in Africa.

And on went the discussion... What is interesting to me is that men are engaging each other in discussions about increasing women’s participation in governance. Is this a good sign?

In the past week, there has been heated arguments amongst male and female colleagues about whether women should even seek to go into politics. What I sense is a lot of fear about a woman becoming corrupt and neglecting her duties in the home. Hehehe…give women a chance to become all they can now 🙂

What is your Take – Do you think that giving Nigerian women 35% affirmative seat in leadership positions is fair /unfair? Why?

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

6 thoughts on “Arguments For & Against Reserving 35% Affirmative Seat in Governance For Women #Nigeria

  1. I feel it should be based on competence. I think any woman would agree they don’t just want a woman to have the seat just to have it. If they are not competent than they are more easily corrupted, and because they don’t know what they are doing. Also if they don’t know what they are doing, what help are they? Having said that, I am more than confident that there are enough competent woman to fill the seats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To me 35% is too small, we have a lot of women that are in leadership positions right now that are competent, doing great things in their own corners. Give women equal right or more to showcase what they have. My take

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree – it’s interesting that men are beginning to engage in discussion on this subject. Definitely a good sign.
    35% is too low to represent half of a population. The comments about competence don’t seem to apply to the men who have 65% representation regardless. Is their competence assumed by virtue of their gender? Very unfair!

    Liked by 1 person

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