Tumaka urges women to reach height of success, despite gender bias
Nigerian women have been advised to never stop trying to reach the height of success and leadership, whether or not the system is generally skewed against them.
The former Director Special Duties, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Hajia Lami Tumaka said this while giving her keynote address themed: “The Role of Women as Nation Builders,” during the 5th edition of Sheroes Global Awards at the Sheraton Hotel Ikeja Lagos, last Sunday.
Tumaka, who stated that Nigeria would have been a better place today if women were more involved in running the affairs of the country at the different strata, said: “The notion that men are the brains behind the growth and development of nations is both chauvinistic and misplaced. There is no scientific research that says that the girl’s brain composition is inferior to that of a boy. If anything, a girl’s brain is as equally endowed as a boy’s. The ability of a girl to multi-task where the boy cannot do so effectively is a case in point.
“I can say without equivocation that women contribute significantly to societal development by sheer fact of the amount of time, energy and resources they put into bringing up children, male or female. From the family, which is the smallest unit of the society, women are the pillars of all families. The saying that train a woman and you train a nation further illustrates this assertion”.
She further cited great Nigerian women like Mrs. Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, HajiyaGambo Sawaba, others, who have contributed in shaping Nigeria especially towards the achievement of democracy and sustenance of women’s right.
“Unfortunately, the right to thrive for women has been engendered in this country. Out of 43 appointed Federal Ministers, there are only seven women. The Senate has only eight members out of its 109 members, while the House of Representatives, which have a total of 360 members, has only 11 women. The situation is also as dismal in all the Houses of Assembly across the states as only 40 women were elected members there. There are also only four Deputy Governors, and of course not a single Governor. But the records of INEC show that over 2, 400 women contested for elections at all levels. So what happened?
She further queried: “Is it that the women who constitute nearly 50 per cent of the total voting population refused to vote in one of their own? Or that the other half of the population comprising men refused to vote their mothers, wives, aunties and sisters who dared to be on the ballot?
“This is why I strongly advise that women take the bull by the horn by building their requisite capacities in every sphere of their lives to prepare them for challenges of leadership. So, instead of clamouring for gender sensitivity by governments, Nigerian women must develop themselves properly and challenge men in all areas of human endeavour to prove that women do not really belong to the other room, but in places that matter” she said.
Founder and Global President, Sheroes Global Initiative, Yemi Adenuga, who said the ideology behind the awards is to recognise and celebrate incredible women, men and young people who inspire, empower and impact in their own little way, noted that the vision is to see a society where a woman can reach her highest potential, free of violence, and supported by not just men but other women who desire the best for her. “Our flagship ‘Boys to Men’ project is taking the front seat as we work with credible and vetted men in communities to raise our boys to be good men.”
The event which was graced by first-class citizens of the country, presented nine 2020 Sheroes Global Award recipients in persons of Hon, Aisha Ahman-Pategi, Abisoye Ajayi Akinfolarin, Temi Dalley, Dr Elisha Attai, Data Phido, Tonia Benjamin, Mercy Makinde, Rita Akhabue and Victory Ihongbe.