NEWS DIGEST – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says despite efforts to promote women participation in the politics and decision making, female membership in National Assembly remains low at 5.8 per cent in Nigeria.

The NBS made this known in a statistical report on Women and Men in Nigeria for 2018 posted on its website.

The bureau said women had continued to record low representation at all tiers of governance although they constitute almost half of the electorate.

It said males constituted 94.2 per cent of the members of the National Assembly in the periods from 1999 to 2015 (on average) while female participation remained low at 5.8 per cent.

At federal courts, it said 29.4 per cent of Judges were female while 70.6 per cent were male from 2011 to 2016.

The bureau said State Assemblies also recorded similar low participation rates for women at 5.2 per cent while men occupied 94.8 per cent of available positions from 1999 to 2015.

At the local government level from 1999 to 2015, it said nine per cent of chairpersons were females while 91 per cent were males.

In addition, the report said women also constituted just 5.9 per cent of Councilors compared with 94.1 per cent for men.

Meanwhile, the report said violence and crimes against women, had been on increase, according to data received from the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Ministry of Justice.

According to the report, rape cases in Nigeria have been on the rise.

“The percentage of rape incidence for girls was 63.04 per cent in 2015, which increased to 72.13 per cent in 2016 but decreased to 69.33 per cent in 2017.

“Over 90 per cent of suspects arrested for drug related offences in 2015, 2016 and 2017 (92.7, 93.5 and 93.8 per cent) were men while women made up 7.3, 6.5 and 6.2 per cent of the arrests for the same years.”

For life expectancy at birth, the report said it depicted the average number of years a newborn child was expected to live given the current levels of mortality in a country.

In 2016, it said life expectancy for males was 47 years, 51 years for female and 49 years for both.

On education, the report said the literacy rate among female age 15 to 24 years interviewed was 59.3 per cent and 70.9 per cent for their male counterpart in 2016.

Available data from the Federal Ministry of Education shows that enrolment rate of school-aged girls in primary education was 48.6 per cent in 2014.

It said the figure decreased to 47.4 per cent in 2015 and slightly increased to 47.5 per cent in 2016.

In addition, it said the completion rate for girls in primary, junior and senior secondary school in 2016 were 64.8 per cent, 38.9 per cent and 28.7 per cent.

It said the figures showed a decreased completion rate as the student progresses.

According to the report, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and ranks the 7th in the world.

In 2017, Nigeria population was estimated to be 199 million people compared to about 193 million in 2016 (National Population Commission).

Women constituted 49.2 per cent and men 50.8 per cent of this population.

Population growth rate is estimated to be 3.2 per cent while the sex ratio remained 102 men per 100 women while in 2017, the population of the elderly (60+ years) was 5.54 million and 4.39 million for men and women.

Meanwhile, Beijing Declaration adopted at the Fourth World Conference in 1995 on Women, the participating governments expressed their commitment “to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of humanity”.

The statistical report of women and men is being produced annually by NBS, under the requirements of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gender indicators in order to assess the success of the previously stated goals.

The 2018 edition takes a cursory look at the status of women and men in the country over time, based on statistics from relevant Federal and State Ministries Department Agencies (MDAs)

It covers six focal policy areas of the economy: Population, Health, Education, Works, Power and Decision Making, and Violence against Women and Crime. (NAN)