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35% affirmative action: NCWS commends Jonathan

The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), has commended the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing women in his cabinet representing 31 per cent out of the 35 per cent affirmative action.

The society also berated some state governments for their failure to implement the agitation that more women should be given opportunity to serve in various political offices as part of their contribution to the development of the nation.

The National President of NCWS, Chief (Mrs) Nkechi Mba, said this in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune during the visit of some members of the society in the South- West to the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo, in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State.

Mba commended President Jonathan for giving the womenfolk more portfolios in fulfilment of his electoral promise that more women would be given the chance to serve their fatherland.

The NCWS president, who was accompanied by the first National Vice President, Chief (Mrs) Gloria Laraba Shoda, the state president, Chief (Mrs) Anthonia Fisan-Balogun and other members from the South-West states said many state governments were defaulting in the implementation of the 35 per cent women representation in government.

On her plans for NCWS, Mba promised to serve Nigerian women and work with the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, in ensuring that the womenfolk take their pride of place in the scheme of things in the country.

“I have come to rescue and serve the women of Nigeria and then, move NCWS forward. I have a lot of plans for the council. I promise that the 35 per cent we are looking for will be attained. Women have the capacity to lead and perform well in any assignments given to them.

“By the grace of God, we will work with the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is the grand patron of NCWS, to make sure we get our 35 percent representation. Mr President has given us 31 per cent, for which we are grateful, but we still have to work hard to get the 35 per cent,” she added.

The new president of NCWS, while extolling the virtues of Mama Awolowo, promised to carry her along in the society’s activities and assured members in the South-West that they would not be marginalised.

Mrs Shoda, in her address, charged government at all levels to further empower women with leadership positions and create enabling environment and equal opportunities for women socially, economically and politically.

“Women have proved beyond every doubt that they are good managers of human, material and financial resources. The performance of the few who are opportune to hold public offices is a testimony to this fact. We put in more efforts than men to ensure a better life for the masses but unfortunately, the potentials of the Nigerian women have not been fully explored,” she added.

The host, in her remarks, commended the leadership of the society for keeping the flag flying 50 years after its establishment.

Mama promised to intervene in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the association as soon as possible.

She said, “when this association was started about 50 years ago, we didn’t know that it will become a great association today. We have left everything over 40 years ago but you people have taken it up and you are doing well. You should push forward and be steadfast. I wish you goodluck”


Breese's picture

Quality vs. Quantity

Olubusola, thank you for sharing this news about women's political participation in Nigeria! It's great that more attention is being brought to the issue, and that key figures of the government have made it a priority. Do you have any thoughts on how your country can ensure that they are not just women but good leaders as well?

Olubusola's picture

Thanks Breese

Your fear is as good as mine, most times when women are either elected or appointed we get enthusuatic about it, but one thing i found out is that they do not always promote women issues. With the complex nature of the political activity of Nigeria women activist find it difficult to make it to the decision making positions. Another step i think can be taken now is for the women based NGOs to organise training for this women on gender mainstreaming so as to enlighten them on gender issues.


Breese's picture

That is a great idea.

That is a great idea. Non-governmental organizations are doing such trainings in countries facing similar problems, and hopefully we'll begin to see the impact. Just the other day there was an article about such work in Malaysia: Do you know of any organizations in Nigeria conducting trainings or workshops for women's political participation?

Olubusola's picture

Women based NGOs

Yes there are several NGOs training women in this area e.g Gender and Development Action(GADA) i was actually with this organization before i left in 2009. Also is Women Research And Documentation Centre (WARDC) there are lots of women based NGOs working in Nigeria to build the capacity of the women, even at the grassroot level. European Union actually funded GADA in 2006-2007 to do a project on this and it was titled 'Project 300 Women' in the South West of Nigeria. I understand UNDP still funded them recently to do similar project.


Breese's picture

Thanks for this great

Thanks for this great information, you're clearly very knowledgeable about what's going on and I look forward to learning more from you!

Olubusola's picture

Thank u

Thank u am looking forward to getting same from you


usha kc's picture

Dear Olubusola,,, nice to

Dear Olubusola,,, nice to read your article. It's so informative. Thank you for sharing and keep sharing more.

Olubusola's picture

Hi Usha

Thank you for reading my write-up


Celine's picture

Re: Quantity vs Quality

Thank you sister Olubusola for writing on NCWS and 35% Affirmative Action. Just as Breese pointed out, are we talking about just women or those who have the determination, zeal and commitment to leading the country aright? Are these women picked from among wives, sisters and relatives of 'oligarchic' ruling class or on recommendations because their husband / brothers are influential in Nigeria? What about the marginalized women - I mean those who have what it takes and commitment to service and yet has nobody to project them? What about the marginalized women interested in taking positions in government or more focused in addressing and placing issues that have negative effects on the life of Nigerian women. Issues like constant hike in prices and artificial scarcity of kerosine and petrol, high cost of basic things of life, joblessness of young adults that promote prostitution, kidnapping, robbery in the nation?
Women picked from among the ruling class or from the influential families will only be loyalists to their benefactors and will not speak out against the vices in the leadership. And what we always have is 'since I can't beat them, I join them" hence the rise in corruption and corrupt practices emanating from the leaders in Nigeria. NCWS should get closer to the women at the grass root, I mean women at the rural villages in order to feel the pulse of suffering these women go through. Let us be less political in addressing issues of women in Nigeria.


usha kc's picture

Celine sister very important

Celine sister very important points you have pointed. Women picked from among the rulling class or influential will only be loyalists to.....their.. good analysis.

Olubusola's picture

Hi Celine

I quite agree with the points you raised that these women will still succumb to the dictates of their 'godfathers', we have had situations where women elected refused to assist women in their empowerment rather they support anti-women programmes. Anothr thing i also want you to know is that the fact that they are from the grassroot doesn't make them better off, it is an individual convinction to either promote or deatroy women issues. Lets wait and see what they will do in the next few months before we raise this issue again for now lets give Jonathan the kudos.
Thank you


NMEZI SYBIL's picture

Hello Olushola

Olushola, I thank you so much for sharing this information .We are more concerned with women representation on elected positions ,which ranked just 8% in 2011 elections.What is more, to continue commending instead of strategizing on how to achieve 35% presentation of women in the three arms of government come 2015.Women of Nigeria should have a re-think and start supporting and voting their fellow women into elected positions for this will help to enhance the pace of change in the legislative offices.

Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women is progress to the Nation

Olubusola's picture

Thank You

This is a strong point, for me i prefer women to make it into the elective positions rather than wait for the tokenism of the 'fathers' Nigerian women still need encouragement here.


olutosin's picture


Hey, aunty, this is Tosin, how are you ma?

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


Olubusola's picture

Hi Tosin

How are you and life, good to connect again on Worldpulse. Tk care


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