Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s first lady has on Monday said that there is a need for increased women participation in governance in the country.
She said this during the official launch of the Nigeria chapter of African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) held in Abuja.
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the First Lady, Dr Hajo Sani, she said that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and agencies had been advocating for women inclusion in leadership positions, adding that “it has been identified that we have capable women that have the potential in this country.
“The productivity of Nigerian women is being wasted because we have them who are capable and willing to do better than men.”
According to her, the low representation of Nigerian women in prominent positions in government is worrisome, in spite of the vital roles they play during elections.
“Women play great and significant roles toward the success of general elections. We, therefore, appeal that they be brought on board to be major stakeholders in terms of being part of decision making bodies.”
Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Chairperson, Steering Committee, AWLN Nigeria and Founder, Gender and Development Action (GADA) said the organisation is a joint initiative of the AU, UN office of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Germany.
She explained that the group aim to enhance the leadership status of women in the transformation of Africa, in line with Africa Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
She identified five priority areas for the network in the country to include: women’s participation in peace and security, women’s political representation and leadership, women’s economic empowerment and social investment.
She also identified women’s high-level advocacy to secure political will in support of policies to be domesticated and resourced, as well as mentorship of young women and inter-generational dialogue.