‘Women representation in decision making will stimulate growth’
Chairman of Access Bank Plc, Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika, has said that women must play active roles if the nation is to move forward and develop economically.
Speaking in Lagos during this year’s Vanguard Media Limited International Women’s Day Conference, she said it was illogical to neglect women in decision-making processes when they represent half the population.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Walking the talk: Towards a gender balanced polity, the time is now,’ she regretted that despite the progress made so far, gender inequalities, patriarchal ideologies and stereotypes continued to exist in all spheres of Nigerian polity.
She insisted that the time was now to change prejudices and biases about women generally.
“Some Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are already creating associations to foster the political aspirations of women but more must be done to create enabling environment to allow women engage in decision and policy making processes that affect the whole nation.”
Noting that as the next general election approaches, Nigeria could not afford to leave women behind and getting women into positions of political leadership should be prioritised and treated with urgency.
Speaking, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, blamed society’s patriarchal practices for women’s under-representation in politics.
She charged women to stop seeing themselves as victims but as victors and get the right kind of representation.
Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, Eze Anaba, said Nigeria stands at a political crossroad and as women agitate for equal participation, they will continue to stand for justice, fairness and all other values towards a better life for the people.
Senator Joy Emordi, on her part, advised female politicians going into politics to be persistent in mobilising people. She encouraged grassroots mobilization, adding that they must never be intimidated irrespective of whose ox is gored. Emordi who spoke on the first panel session on the theme, ‘Women Empowerment in Nigerian Politics and How We Have Fared,’ said to break the bias restricting women from participating in politics; women have to get involved.