Persuasion Not Enough To Give Women Leadership Positions, Says Iyom Anenih

By Chiazo Ogbolu

) Former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, has said that persuasive speaking will not give women leadership positions in the governance of the country.

Anenih made this known at the 2021 Class of MMS Plus Women of Fortune Hall of Fame (WoFHoF) on Friday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WoFHoF initiative was founded by Mr Kingsley Anaroke with the aim of empowering women in society, discovering and celebrating their sterling qualities.

Six women namely Hajia Musa Saulawa, Mrs Mary Hamman, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, Mrs Yetunde Akinluyi, Hauwa Mohammed, and Josephine Anenih were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Anenih, while presenting a lecture on “Women in Leadership and Governance – Promoting Sustainable Economic Prosperity,” noted that Nigerian women were doing well in the private sector but not in politics.

She urged women to leave their comfort zone and join partisan politics, and contest for elective positions that would enable them to bring the desired change needed to move the country forward.

According to her, women shouting that they must get 50 per cent or 100 per cent or whatever per cent, will never happen if they don’t do the needful.

“Efforts to integrate women into the mainstream of economic development and creating sustainable prosperity in Nigeria dates back to 1982 when the Federal Government established a National Committee on Women and Development.

“The directive was to duplicate such in states and it is intended to increase the participation of women at the grassroots and in the decision making and implementation of projects that affect women,” she said.

As regards politics, she said that there was no way women could have the leadership of the country without belonging to a political party.

“Nigeria will not appoint women as president, Nigeria will not appoint you governor of your state, you have to come out and contest and you cannot contest unless you belong to a political party,” she said.

She noted that women were born nurturers, managers, strategists, and organisers, adding that in every institution a woman was at the helm of affairs, there was always a difference.

Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, Board of Trustees, MMS WofHof Initiative, urged the inductees to keep doing well in their fields of endeavour.

Orakwusi noted that for the younger ladies in the profession, they had mentors to look up to and urged the inductees to provide such mentorship.

Mrs Mfon Usoro, the National President CILT, said that women in Nigeria should not take no for an answer, but rise up and take their rightful positions in the economy of the country.

“Women in Nigeria are strong, intelligent, and they are the solutions to Nigeria’s problems and whether men like it, women will take over,” she said.

Dr Vicky Haastrup, Chairperson of the event, said that Nigerian women had the capacity and the answer to the nation’s problems.

Haastrup appreciated Anaroke for promoting women and giving them a platform to excel by identifying women who have done well not just in the maritime sector.

Anaroke said that the theme was chosen to address pertinent issues in the lives of women, in particular, people in governance, leadership positions in both private and public institutions and sectors.

He added that in 2022, the initiative, would have a regenerative concept that would change the face of womanhood in the country.

“We call it the sisterhood, a reality show that will change things.

“This is where we are going to see serious reforms talking about women, morals, and many things put together,” he said.

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