International Women’s Day: Following the Path of Rwanda

By Eric Elezuo

Ever since the conscientious exposure of the womenfolk following the Beijing Conference of many years ago, so much good much tidings have come the way of the women, among them the setting aside of March 8 of every year to celebrate their relevance and great contributions to the world.

However, as important as many believe the women are in the scheme of things, it is still disheartening that they are still placed at the lowest rung of decision making and taking. Most world governments are yet to see the need to equally allocate governmental functions in relation to their male counterparts. This is majorly as a result of culture and tradition which the African society tenaciously holds on to.

A typical example is the Nigerian society where just a handful of women are manning top notch government positions, especially elected positions. From the north down to the south, the discrimination against the womenfolk especially as regards holding leadership position has gone beyond the ordinary, and entered into typical chauvinism.

To further portray the disdain culture has made Nigerian men hold their female counterparts, a member of the House of Representatives,Hon. Gudaji Muhammed Kazaure, declared that giving women too much laissez-faire might lead to the eventual overthrow of men.

Kazaure represents the Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa and Yankwashi Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, in the lower chamber.

But the United Nations has taken the bull by the horn by appointing a woman, a Nigerian for that matter, the Deputy Secretary General, proving that time has come when women should be allowed to bite the bigger chunk of world administration. This is also highlighting the fact that a woman is in charge of the International Monetary Fund, and is performing creditably.

But more kudos should be given to the government and people of Rwanda, who have come to realize that performance is not a function of what lies between the laps, but the content of the mind, which the women proudly possess and exhibits in no small measure. The Rwandan parliament boast of more the greatest number of women in its fold. The East African country has 49 women in its 80-seat lower house of parliament and 10 women in its 26-seat Upper house of parliament. Rwanda is followed directly by Bolivia, Cuba and Iceland.

Sadly enough, Nigeria is ranked 180 out of 190 in countries that have given women chance to showcase the stuff they are made off.

It is therefore, imperative that the Nigerian public should take in consideration the example of Rwanda, a country that saw years of civil war, yet got it right and give the Nigerian women more opportunities. We must be understood that the likes of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, late Dora Akunyuli among many others did not disappoint with the positions they manned or is it (wo)manned.

Happy International Women Day!

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