…Their Value Additions to the Next Level Agenda
The participation of women in governance remains generally low but improving globally. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is rated to be on the side of improving demographics of the inclusion of women in governance.
“I am most grateful for the role women have played and continue to play in our government,’’ he said.
The Buhari-led federal government has a record of no fewer than 50 women serving in top positions as ministers, head of service of the federation, directors-generals, special advisers and heads of departments and agencies under his leadership.
The widened room for women inclusion in his government appears to reflect his grassroots oriented focus of lifting people out of poverty. Women are proven to be much more effective and impactful when it comes to executing policies that cut across party lines: they are highly responsive to constituent concerns, encouragement of citizens and in securing peaceful coexistence.
The President is therefore moving in the directions of a general call for increased involvement of women in governance as a means of advancing the pace of economic development. He is quite impressed by the role of women as a credible force in strengthening democracy and promoting the culture of peace and food security.
He aptly recognises that women have made valuable contributions in sustaining the socio-economic fabric of the nation – from decision making corridors to rural community development.
“This administration places a premium on promoting women’s inclusiveness in national development, as we have demonstrated with those holding key portfolios in this administration”, he said. The President clearly gets the credit for matching words with action when it comes to the record of outstanding women appointees in government.
Expert studies generally agree that women empowerment programmes, especially in the area of decision making and participation in politics are needed at various governmental levels to achieve impactful leadership.
Some of the studies concluded that this should happen as a matter of priority across governmental bodies. The basis for the conclusion is the findings that women’s decisions tend to be less politically motivated and their policy and programme goals do not align with political agenda, which are often one-sided and short-lived.
This implies that state and local governments are expected to follow the footsteps of the President in increasing the participation of women at high ranking levels in the functioning of government.
According to the President, his commitment to see more Nigerian women in leadership positions is at both national and international levels.
“I am very proud of the achievements of my former minister of environment and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Fatima Mohammed Kyari – African Union permanent observer to the United Nations and the newly elected director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“We will continue to support them to succeed and we shall continue to advocate for our women who qualify to lead international fora,’’ the President said.
He has given his word to step up women empowerment programmes through easing access to credit and widening the space for their participation in politics.
The performance of women in the Buhari-led government so far affirms that his confidence in their ability to contribute to the economic and social development aspirations of government has not been misplaced.
This sums up the findings of the editors of The Top10 Magazine, as they investigated women appointees of the Buhari’s administration with a view to unveiling the top 10 outstanding by way of how impactful their contributions in society.
Among the top 10 are found women of high character and selflessness; women with uncommon zeal to make lasting impacts in society and those who detract from selfish political ambition that is the order of the day in Nigeria to tread honourably the path of true service to humanity.
Beyond the top 10, the study found yet many of the women appointees who have distinguished themselves in many respects in the offices they hold. They therefore share in the victory of those who made it to the top 10.