Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) has decried the proportion of female representation and participation in public service and politics (elective and appointive positions) in the country.
In a communiqué released at the weekend by Executive Director of WIMBIZ, Hansatu Adegbite, it described as undeniably disheartening the national average of women’s political participation, which remains a mere 6.7 per cent both in elective and appointive positions, far below the Global Average of 22.5 per cent, Africa Regional Average of 23.4 per cent and West African Sub Regional Average of 15 per cent.
“Sadly, the situation continues to persist despite the strong advocacy for gender equality and inclusive development by social movements and organisations like WIMBIZ and commitment by the Federal Government in the National Gender Policy (NGP) “to building a nation devoid of gender discrimination, guaranteeing equal access to political, social and economic wealth creation opportunities for women and men.
“When this current administration released the list of ministerial appointees in 2019, only seven women made the list out of a total of 43 nominees, making up just 16.7 per cent. In the National Assembly, women constitute a mere 5.6 per cent of members of the House of Representatives and 6.5 per cent of the Senate. Thus, placing Nigeria in 122 positions out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report of 2017 released by the World Economic Forum.
“Examples of this egregious under-representation have become all too familiar with governing councils of our foremost tertiary institutions reconstituted without female representation and the recently announced third constituted Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Board where, again, no woman was included.
“Being underrepresented is in itself unfortunate, given the well documented and established benefits inherent in their participation in all sectors of the economy. But regretfully, even when women are eventually appointed as leaders in the Nigerian public service or elected into political offices, they are often shamed for doing their jobs with transparency and integrity and disgraced out without justification.
“There are countless examples of female leaders being unfairly targeted, harassed, taunted, bullied & attacked often in excess of what their male counterparts have to contend with. Worse still, they are forced to deal with an relentless barrage of gender bias and deep-rooted misogyny.”