Female Group canvasses woman president for Nigeria

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Female Group canvasses woman president for Nigeria

Nigerian women joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) as Edo chapter of Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Monday, urged Nigeria to emulate Finland, Denmark and Ethiopia by electing a woman president for rapid development.

The President of the chapter, Dr Adesuwa Uroghide-Edigin, made the call in a statement issued in Benin to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day.

According to her, 20 countries in the world, headed by women, are having rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uroghide-Edigin kicked against what she called pre-existing barriers to women’s participation in politics in Nigeria.

She said even though the world knows women have done well, women head only 20 countries. What are the other countries waiting for, she queried.

“What is Nigeria waiting for? There are consistent pre-existing barriers to women’s participation in politics and even when they finally participate, they are not supported to win elections. More barriers are being faced by women now during this COVID-19 pandemic, as domestic violence against women has increased.

“So also has rape increased; more women have also been put in the family way, with unemployment and poverty staring the country in the face.

“There is inadequate representation of women at national and state levels. We implore women to choose to challenge the existing status quo and fill up more spaces at all levels of government,” she said.

Uroghide-Edigin further observed that female leadership over time had led to improved productivity and visibility in many organisations in the country, adding that gender should not be a factor to measure how good and impactful or otherwise a leader can be.

“Leadership qualities should depend on personality traits and strengths.

“Most times, women are not encouraged to take leadership roles because of gender bias. They feel men can do better while women are weak. So, there is never a balance,” she said.

The MWAN president stated that women had proven to be better leaders through their holistic and passionate approach to leadership, with more collaboration and less competition when compared with their male counterparts.

She described women as great leaders due to their work-life balance skills and multi-tasking nature.

Women, she said, were constantly breaking the glass ceiling and reaching heights previously unimagined because they #ChooseToChallenge.

It cited several cases where women had proven their mettle, such as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who, she said, emerged the first African woman to head the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Urhoghide-Edigin named others to include Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, first Nigerian President of Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), Dr Mary Agu, first female rheumatologist in Africa and Dr Edith Kayode-Iyasere, first female Chief Medical Director of Central Hospital.

She said that this year’s theme: #ChooseToChallenge, was adopted to end gender inequality, gender bias and stereotyping as well as gender-based violence in the world.

“We celebrate all women forging clear paths to excellence by sheer dint of hard work in all fields and spheres of life. Let’s end stereotyping and gender bias. Let’s improve visibly and celebrate more of women’s achievements. Let’s end inequality because from challenge comes change. So, let’s all choose to challenge”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

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