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Thursday, 15 March 2012


David Alachenu Bonaventure Mark is a retired military General and an accomplished political statesman. He is the first Nigerian Politician to hold the prestigious office of Senate President of the Federal Republic, twice (for two four-year tenure each making eight years) since 2007.
David Mark belongs to the self -acclaimed biggest political party in Africa- the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].
From the above, my readers can see that the subject matter of my piece is not a small man but a respectable Nigerian citizen who has played pivotal role in both the military and civilian-led politics in the last four decades.  Another question which would be answered at another forum is how well has Nigeria fared in the said four decades that David Mark and his contemporaries have been in politics.
March 8th 2012 was used to mark the International Women’s Day and in Nigeria as usual the event was characterized by speeches and colorful celebrations all across the nation.
At the National Assembly, both chambers remembered and honored the contributions of the Nigerian Women in the evolution of Nigeria’s democracy.      
Report has it that the Senate President David Mark was at the National hospital because of a reported minor health challenge about the same time that the World was marking the International Women’s day. But proceedings at the Senate became more exciting when one of the Senators made a very brilliant remark that the senate is not gender sensitive because no single female senator seats on the top hierarchy of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This is sad considering the fact that in real life, more Nigerian women actually take part in voting during elections and if proper scientific data/evidence is to be collected from the fields, the National office of Statistics will find out invariably that there are up to five female voters to one male voter in all polling units all across Nigeria.
I monitored the April 2011 elections in Enugu at the head of a delegation from the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria which was accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission to monitor the exercise which produced the current political office holders.
Since there are more women that actively take part in elections as voters, how come that gender equity or parity is still a mere slogan and not respected by critical stakeholders such as the Senate president of Nigeria who is obviously one of the most experienced politicians in Nigeria?
Our Senate President should go back to the drawing board with his “bosses” (other Senators, as he calls them) to ensure that a powerful slot in the top three leadership position is allotted to the women senators before the first year anniversary of their election on May 29th 2012.
Like the Federal House of Representatives that initially resisted external pressure to make a woman the House leader, but later caved in, the senate must embrace gender parity as a critical factor to nation building. 
Gender equity is not synonymous to singing “sweet mother” in the Senate chamber as was clownishly done by one of the senators last week, but ensuring that the rightful leadership role is accorded to our women Senators who are indeed achievers in their own right.
 Senators Olusemi Tinubu from Lagos state or Aisha Alhassan from Taraba state are vastly qualified to be appointed as one of the top three leaders of the Senate.
From Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, we learn that gender quality is also known as gender equity, gender egalitarianism, or sexual equality. It is the goal of the equality of the genders. Stemming from a belief in the injustice of myriad forms of gender inequality, the push for affirmative action has taken center stage in public discourse in the last two decades since after the Beijing-China United Nations Women conference in 1995 or thereabout.
The movement towards gender equality, especially in western countries, began with the suffrage movement of late-19th century. International scholars recorded that closely following the clamor for gender equity was a general campaign for a transformational change in relation to a woman’s property rights in marriage as could be read for example from ‘ married women’s property Act 1882’ of the United States.
In the 1960s a more general movement for gender developed based on women’s liberation and feminism. However, actual changes in attitudes continued to focus on specific issues.
The movement resulted in changes to laws, either relating to particular issues or general anti-sex discrimination laws. Changes to attitudes to equality in Education opportunities for boys and girls have also undergone a cultural shift.
Development historians say that some changes came about by adopting affirmative action policies. The change has also involved changes to social views.  These include “equal pay for equal work” as well as most occupation being equally available to men and women in many nations.  For example, many countries now permit women to serve in the armed forces, the police force and to be fire fighters. Also, an increasing number of women are active in politics and occupy high positions in business. In Nigeria for instance, President Jonathan promoted the first woman military General -Naval Rear Admiral Itonu Hotonou of Lagos State and Nigeria got her first female combat pilot in 2012 in the person of Miss. Blessing Liman of Kaduna State.
In summary, Scholars believe that the movement for gender equality is therefore an intellectual, political, social and economic history of the changing relationship between men and women, rather than how it is often distorted and represented as a pro-woman movement. Women have historically been associated with inferiority in philosophical, medical and religious traditions. Gone are those days generally.
The Senate President should achieve much more profound political fame by respecting the tenets of gender equity by actualizing the appointment by consensus of one of the female senators to step into the leadership hierarchy of the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that the voice of our mothers, sisters and good female friends may be heard loudly.



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