BY Comfort Ngwakwe
We passionately appeal as we count down to 2015 elections, that leaders and politicians must accept that breaking wrong tradition, defying custom, and overcoming discrimination against women who dare to serve requires courage and leadership while deserving commendation.
Over the years women have been relegated to the background on issues of the overall development especially in the developing nations like Nigeria. But surprisingly in Abia state, distinguished Senator Nkechi Justina Nwaogu representing Abia Central in the Senate and many other women have clearly proven beyond every doubt that women can actually be trusted to deliver the dividends of democracy to her people as well as facing head on, the challenges faced by both the youths and the elderly which stem from social, economic and political problems.
In the past girls were removed from school, they were not allowed into active politics, women were forbiden from employment outside the home, “the private sphere” and were not allowed to appear in public in clear contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Suffice to say that there is historical evidence to prove that Nigerian women have for long been playing crucial roles in the political life of the country, and this has contributed in no small measure in shaping the political system of the nation.
For development of any kind to be successful, a vantage position should be accorded the women as being spearheaded by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, and ought also to be supported by those leaders who are supportive of her aspiration with practical action.
Indeed women in Abia have begun to close ranks, synergize, work, fast and pray for the victory of one of their own whom they are by this medium seeking for everyone’s support including His Excellencies, Ochendo Global the supporter of the women, the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan and His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in making this dream a reality in Abia state.
The women and girls are appealing for the support of their husbands and fathers in giving the women an opportunity to showcase the potentials and ability of today’s women in providing an accountable and transformational leadership.
Today, women are participating more actively in political issues than ever before as a result of political re-awakening and awareness.
However more often than not, “WOMEN” are besieged with challenges of which discrimination is more rife, such that some outdated political agents are using currently to undermine and deny Abians and Abia women particularly, their opportunity to showcase the great virtues and leadership ability of Abia women and her men supporters.
Again this poor choice you will agree has consistently to date struck at the most basic of women’s human rights, depriving them of economic, political, physical and intellectual independence and overturned what women internationally had been struggling to achieve for over five centuries.
Majority of the men more on chauvinistic disposition are preoccupied with the notion that decision making is exclusively for the men folk while women are to be instructed on what to do.
This idea of seeing the women playing the number two role at home has come to play itself out in the political life of the people thereby impeding the very best of the women on the bases of gender.
This ought not to be so with regard to the ever dynamic nature of things globally as women are now seen in other lands as avant-garde in developed nations.
It is not surprising that the same mindset of yester years is still what is obtained in our country today, but this we must resist and refuse as we march to 2015 elections.
Therefore the political elite in Nigeria and Abia state in particular must also learn from this experience that demeaning an individual or group over time results in stereotyping and the denial of recognition of that groups or person’s accomplishments, contributions and ability to serve the society well.
On this note we call on Abians to note that while the division of spheres, based on sex and known as patriarchy, may have been justified as a necessary division of labor in the early evolution of the human species, this system long ago outlived its functionality and has been challenged by women, and a few men, since, at least, the fifteenth century. Abians therefore must avoid sentiment and depart from the past to embrace the future, the change that people want and can believe.
May we also remember that even though women face harsh difficulties in politics, they continue with their political ambition, contributing enormously to the political and national development in their own way as the challenges militating against them are not present, although Nigeria is yet to have a female elected Governor or president, women over the years could be said to have recorded some measure of appreciable political achievement in other political fields of endeavour.
Mrs Comfort Ngwakwe from Ugwuagbo local council in Abia State.