Akande-Adeola seeks fair deal for women at writers’ forum
The first female majority leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, was a special guest over the weekend at a reading session organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) last week that had A Woman in Parliament in focus. Officiating was ANA, Abuja Chapter chairman, Mr. Benjamin Ubiri, with the National President of the association, Denja Abdullahi, in attendance.
Other writers also read from their works. And when it was her turn to read, the former lawmaker engaged her audience with the second chapter of her book, Speakership Contest.
The chapter chronicles some of the bitter experiences the former lawmaker had during the battle for the seat of speakership of the House of Representatives.
According to her, “Partisan politics is a tough and often slippery terrain for both men and women. However, for women, who dare venture into it, the slope is much more slippery, not because they are not strong enough, but because they are more vulnerable in many ways.”
In spite of the challenges and political intrigues, however, Akande-Adeola said her background and philosophy, which emphases hard work, integrity and tenacity of determination saw her through.
She also used her book as a platform to rebuff some of the allegations brought against her, which she said, were entirely politically motivated.The six-chapter book also gives an expose about who she is, her family background and its influence on her personality and achievements. Some of the chapter titles include ‘Maami and Baba’s Daughter,’ ‘The First Female Leader,’ ‘The 2015 Election,’ ‘My Legislative Agenda’ as well as ‘Thinking Ahead.’
On the appendix, ‘Resolution of The Nigerian Women Strategy Conference,’ Akande-Adeola talks about the imperative of mainstreaming women into developmental plans. According to her, the development of any country requires the participation of both men and women, adding, “If we want to accelerate the development of Nigeria, all stakeholders must build opportunities for Nigerian women to make a difference. Women must see themselves, as connected in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. We must draw upon the ‘her story’ of strong women organising such as the Aba women’s uprising of 1929.
“To truly empower women, we must begin with protecting girls. The best avenue to assure a better future for them is through the guarantee of access to quality education. Gender empowerment is not a favour done to women. Neither is it just a matter of electoral justice. It is actually a matter of smart economics because it benefits society as a whole.”
However, the lawmaker also noted that the future of women is very bright even though it seemed to be very discouraging at present.“But as long as we maintain the tempo and try to engage the men to partner with the women to ensure that they give us support, the number of women will gradually increase.”