Woman Mata

Women are under represented at all levels of decision making worldwide and achieving gender parity in the Political landscape is almost impossible. It seems power belongs to men, hence despite the number and active involvement of women in voting during elections, they are under represented both in elective and appointive positions.

Women assume key roles of Mothers, Producers, Home managers, Societal Organizers, Socio-cultural activists but despite their visible roles and the fact that they constitute almost half of the country’s population, they have not been given the recognition they deserve. This is due to some cultural stereotypes, traditional practices, patriarchal, societal structures and lots more.

In Imo State particularly, women have not been given the ample opportunity to maximize their full potentials. The Imo State House of Assembly for instance, is historically an assembly of men. Since the creation of Imo State, there have been one or two or no female Lawmaker in each Assembly out of 27 LGAs. Women are sparingly elected as lawmakers, despite having more women electorates.

One can imagine what happens to women related issues and bills on the floor of the House. The 9th Assembly gave us a glimmer of hope as there were two proactive, reputable women who made profound impacts and became indelible in history. They coordinated actions which gave Imo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) on December 15th, 2021, which has today amongst several other beautiful things, given women the right to family inheritance. Women should not only be remembered when it is time to bath or feed their sick parents but should also have rights to benefit from the oil well of the family they belong to, married or not.

The current 10th Imo Assembly has no female lawmaker. It is a cause for concern as the voices, passions, interests and challenges of women may not be given necessary attention. No matter how feminine a man is at heart, he cannot relate with the aspirations and needs of a woman like a woman would. Lack of adequate women participation in Politics is the reason bills on Women do not scale through.

Our traditional institutions have no place for women, this is why there is a lot of domestic violence, subjugation, denials and magnlization especially in our rural communities because at that level, the women are voiceless. In the Ezes’ cabinet, for instance, there is usually no female representative of the women folk, as such, women are not given the privilege or right to air their views. Imagine a scenario where a woman wants to report a rape or battering incident to a cabinet of men in a rustic village, the men may not see it from her point of view and as such may not treat it as supposed.

With zero women representation in the 10th Imo Assembly, there should be more appointive positions for women to achieve balance and ensure equal opportunity.  Men are doing well in political positions, but women need to be allowed to step up to balance the equation. A level playing ground is required for maximum development.

It is imperative for more appointive positions to be given to female politicians in Imo State to achieve the Affirmative Action in the National Gender Policy of 2021 to 2026. We request the governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma  to consider appointing more women into strategic positions in his second tenure, as we applaud him for choosing a woman to deputize him. We are confident that our voices will be loud through her. Choosing a female running mate, has clearly shown how Governor Hope Uzodinma values the role of women in politics and recognizes their ability to contribute effectively to the development and progress of the state.

We cannot doubt the power women wield in appointive and elective positions. Women like Prof. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, late. Prof. Dora Akunyili, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Amb. Kema Chikwe, Prof. Nnenna Otti are proof that women perform optimally when given the chance.

Women’s appointment to strategic positions will further bring sustainability to Imo nascent democracy. Women are the backbones of families and communities. They play significant roles in community building and often do well in community development.

The voices of women need to be heard and their experiences and expertise utilized for the growth and development of the state. The empowerment of women and their involvement in government will bring greater empowerment to our state. Women are natural home builders and have the non-negotiable ability to build our dear state and nation. Whatever a woman sets out to do, she succeeds in it against all odds. Giving women political appointments, avails them the opportunity to contribute their quota to the massive development of the state. They will see building the state as their core responsibility. As mothers who think of the future of their children, they will work hard in their capacity to secure that future by ensuring that the state is reformed.

Women are naturally gifted and endowed to survive and endure complex situations, which equips them with the experiences and maturity needed to excel in leadership positions.

As we anticipate the new cabinet of Gov. Uzodinma’s second tenure, we hope to see more women in appointive positions.