Women are seen to belong to the home, incapable of making sound decisionsm and unworthy to expose themselves in public for political activities such as campaign rallies.
Even the few women in African politics, back then, were not much more than pretty faces, as they were judged by their looks and not by what they had to say.
Nowadays, things have changed—though there is a great deal of gender bias in the political system. Most of the major positions in Nigerian government, including the President’s post, have always been occupied by men.
The National Daily compiled a list of ten outstanding women in Nigerian politics over the decade.
Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan Aisha:
This list would not be complete without Mama Taraba, the current Minister of Women Affairs. Previously she held the post of Senator for Taraba North in 2011-2015, where she earned her nickname for successfully representing her people. She was the first woman to hold that post.
Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri-Erewa:
Abike Last but not least, we want to mention Abike Dabiri, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora. She is another former journalist, who decided to become a politician.
She previously held the positions of chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Publicity in 2003-2007 and the chairperson of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs in 2007-2015. Her example should inspire more women to go into politics. There are so many other outstanding women in Nigerian politics.
Christiana Anyanwu Christiana
Christiana started out as journalist, but soon realised that she could achieve much more in the politics. In 2007, she was elected Senator for Imo East from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Four years later, she was re-elected for the same post. During her work as a Senator, she worked hard to fight discrimination and segregation in Nigeria. Many consider her a very active and contributing member of the Senate.
Florence Known by her nickname Mama Bakassi, Florence began her career in the late 80s as a chairperson for Delta state from NRC. Over the years, she has built her influence and even got to be a presidential adviser. She was a member of the Senate from 1999 until 2003, representing her home state of Cross River. While working at that post, her main focus was on the issues of the Niger Delta. These included the drug problems, women empowerment, foreign affairs and environment. Even at the age of 71, she still actively represents her people.
Monsurat This woman has achieved a lot during her political career, even though she started out only in 2011. In these few years, she managed to get a seat in the House of Assembly for Oyo State. A few months after that, she became the Oyo State House of Assembly’s first female speaker. The House has never been more productive than under her leadership. Monsurat was able to unite people with different political views and make them work towards common goals.
Obiageli For her outstanding work as the head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, she earned her nickname Madam Due Process. During her political career, she also worked as the Minister of Education. In the past years, however, Oby stepped away from politics to pursue business opportunities. She was also one of the people who started the campaign #BringBackOurGirls to return the girls abducted by Boko Haram.
Kemafo Nonyerem Chikwe:
Chikwe is the National Women Leader of the PDP. In 1999-2001, she worked as the Minister of Transport, and in 2001-2003, she was the Minister of Aviation. Kema is also the ambassador to Ireland in Nigeria. She is a successful and highly intelligent politician who inspires many young women to shoot for the stars.
Patricia Akwashiki :
Patricia Former Senator of Nasarawa North and Minister of Information, Patricia has always had an immaculate reputation as a politician. She is known for mentoring the new generations of young female leaders. During her term as a Senator (2007-2011), she worked on inter-parliamentary affairs, financial institutions and the rights of women and youth.
Rose Okoji Oko :
Oko Serving as another inspiring example, Rose is the current Senator for Cross River North. In 2011, she was the first female representative of her constituency. She worked as the Deputy Chairperson House Committee on Education until her election as the Senator in 2015.
Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril Sarah Sarah’s political career spans for almost 35 years, and during this time, she ran for presidency four times, each time representing a different political party. It is not impossible that she might run for the fifth time. She never backed down from achieving her goal. Her perseverance is what most young women should aspire to.