The ECOWAS Commission has called for legislation of gender parity laws to create room for equitable representation of women in politic ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Dr Sigma Jagne, Commissioner for ECOWAS Social Affairs and Gender, told newsmen in Abuja that this would tackle gender inequality issues.

She said poor representation and participation of women in politics posed a serious challenge for sustenance of democratic growth in West Africa.

“The men have been there for a long time and they have not taken us where we want to go and we think that, as long as women are left out, we will not get where we want to go.

“We have to work hand in hand to the place where we all want to be which is where men and women work together and make decisions together.

“Senegal made it a law to have 50 per cent women in parliament and 50 per cent men and I think all the other countries can take (a) cue from Senegal.

“We urge Nigeria, which has the lowest representation of elected women, to also work on legislation for the 2019 elections.

“To ensure that women representation move up, if not 50 per cent but from its 8 per cent to 25 per cent; we (can) take (it) slowly to 50 per cent by another five years after 2019.’’

She identified the belief that men were designed to lead women as a culture that hinders gender growth.

Jagne urged political parties to create a level-playing-field that would encourage gender equality.

She said women would participate fully in electoral processes with adequate funds and motivation.