- Waribugo Joseph
WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT, WOMEN CAN BE EXCELLENT LEADERS
It is rather absurd how most cultures around the globe have projected the female gender to be weak, feeble, and inferior. Since the pre-development era to the beginning of civilization and modernization, women have played key roles from actively leading movements for freedom, participating in negotiations for nations’ independence to leading armies to war while serving in a termed ‘obscure’ capacity.
Until lately, the position of women in nation building, politics and fervent promotion of democracy remains under-reported. This gender is faced with constant crave to make their voice heard. Equally, it has been a struggle to gain recognition in ‘a man’s world’. We cannot be grateful enough for world bodies like the United Nations who deemed it fit to include women and girls right into the list of human rights.
You wonder why women are grossly underrepresented in politics, YES! Women are facing obstacles in their political participation worldwide. Women around the world at every socio-political level find themselves under-represented in parliament and far removed from decision-making levels. This did not only widen the gender equality gap but also infringed on the rights of the women.
Regardless of the numerous disparities and limiting factors, more women globally are rising to take the bull by the horn. Women are hatching their shells to take on more sensitive and tasking positions, not in competition with the men but in sheer display of competence and boldness. Rather than just being decided for, women are becoming decision makers and problem solvers. There is no better time to cause an awakening; create a new normal; and to change this pre-existing false and archaic ideologies surrounding women’s participation in leadership. Indeed “what a man can do, a woman can do better”.
Apparently, the likes of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a two-time minister of finance, served consecutively for two terms in Nigeria, sitting on the Board for numerous globally recognized organizations with remarkable accomplishment to her name, is someone to reckon with. In June 2020, she was nominated as Nigeria’s candidate to be director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Not falling short of any required qualities and full of admirable competence, Okonjo-Iweala enjoyed maximum support from members with a broader support on global membership levels.
Just to add, the just concluded US elections has imprinted a huge mark in the history of women in politics which has brought Kamala Harris, a bi-racial American with both Asian, and Caribbean roots and the first woman to be elected the vice president of the United States of America and the highest ranking female elected in the history of America.
OH YES! This is an exciting victory.
There is absolutely no wrong if women become Presidents, Head of States, and Prime Ministers regardless of race, religions, and traditional and cultural barriers.
On a lighter note, it is amazing to know that women are born leaders. Balancing as wives, mothers, and caregivers, with a little more preparation, they are set for the global stage. This is a 'WAKEUP' call to girls and women alike. Actively engaging in and participating in leadership/politics is a threshold task. Although, there are provisions for women to actively participate in politics and other key leadership positions, it is not sufficient. Men should become active sponsors and supporters of women. Through adequate family and societal support, this wrongly conceived notion can be corrected.
To engender political parties and mitigate against under-representations, it is necessary to have adequate quotas assigned to women. This will encourage women and increase participation. Won’t it be a plus to see more girls/women rule and carry on estimable positions? Let us envision a world where women will not just be women, where their voices can be swiftly amplified through the right education and empowerment.
Likewise, at ProjectASHA, we believe and firmly advocate for reduced inequality, Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 10; where there is an equal opportunity for all. Our focus has not shifted and remains solely on seeing the girls/women remain relevant and undeniably supported into achieving goals with full potential.
We urge the government and world leaders to see through this unfinished task. Also, women who have benefitted from similar positions should share their stories to inspire other girls/women. Millions of girls/women still suffer from gender inequality. This is not a condition we are pleased about.