LAGOS – The new U.S. Consul-General in Lagos, Mr John Bray, on Tuesday called on Nigerian women to begin to consider playing active roles in eliminating barriers against women’s inclusion and empowerment.
Bray stated this in Lagos at an event organised by the U.S. Consulate-General to mark this year’s Women’s History Month programme with the theme, “Women In Leadership and Good Governance”.
“In preparation for the elections coming up in 2019, I would like to throw out a challenge to Nigerian women to consider playing a more
active role in politics.
“Nigerian women can lobby to have laws passed, or changed, that will eliminate barriers to women’s full inclusion and empowerment in all aspects of Nigerian society.
“Therefore, more women could consider running for public office,‘’ he said.
According to him, women’s leadership and meaningful participation in government, the economy, civil society, accelerates economic
development, improves health and educational indicators, advances democratic development and fosters peace and security.
Bray also lauded Nigerian women’s enthusiasm and aspirations for political participation, as well as their calls for government’s accountability and transparency.
He commended the interest of the first Nigerian female presidential aspirant, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, for contesting the 2015 elections, which he said, had inspired many young women across Nigeria.
Prof. Sonaiya, in a lecture, said that she was looking forward to when women who aspired to political positions would no longer be discriminated
against because of their gender.
According to her, Nigeria’s politics is mostly dominated by “strongmen”, where the decisions of the godfathers and money bags always hold sway.
“Strongmen politics” does not produce the best candidates, male or female. And bad candidates make bad office holders.
“Nigerian women have demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate their leadership abilities in all spheres of endeavour,’’ she added. (NAN)