Compiled by Ebunoluwa Sessou
Year 2019 has been a fulfilling moment for women nationally and internationally. All over the world, women have pushed the world forward and have been able to set a footprint in decision making. These women broke barriers to become leaders in their respective positions.
Perhaps, the theme of the 2019 international Women’s Day, #Balance for Better, was leveraged upon which seems to be highlighting the all-important quest for a gender-balanced world.
It is well said that if you empower the woman, you are invariably empowering a nation. Across the world, women are now occupying management positions. One of the women that made history in 2019 was the Nigeria’s first lady Mrs. Aisha Buhari as she made statement in the political setting of Nigeria.
Seven female ministers among 31 women in Buhari’s cabinet
Some of the women who made history in 2019 in Nigeria were the seven female ministers among thirty-one women in the second administration of President Mohammadu Buhari.
These women came from different backgrounds and were carefully selected to head various ministries and agencies in a bid to encourage Nigerian women.
Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouk, is the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, while Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment was given to Hajiya Maryam Katagun. Senator Gbemisola Saraki took the mantle as Minister of State for Transport; Minister of State for Environment was given to Sharon Ikeazu. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development to Dame Pauline Tallen as well as Minister of State for FCT to Rahmatu Tijjani.
Marilyn Amobi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, NBET, and Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant, SSA to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
Toyin Adeniji, Executive Director, Micro Enterprises, Bank of Industry (oversees the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP), Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Stella Okotete, Executive Director, Business Development, NEXIM Bank.
Juliet Ibekaku, Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform and the National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership, OGP, Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator/Chief Executive of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, Nigeria, Nnenna Akajemeli, National Coordinator/CEO, SERVICOM, Ronke Sokefun, Chairperson, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Azuka Obageli Azinge, Acting Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Abike Dabiri, Chairperson and CEO, National Diaspora Commission, Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, and Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, were not left out.
Also included are Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office, DMO, Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, Mariam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Fatima Waziri-Azi, Rule of Law Advisor, Office of the Vice-President, Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Amina Ado, Senior Special Assistant, SSA to the President on Oil and Gas, Edirin Akemu, Coordinator, Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
The Executive Director, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex Management Board, Lucy Omosefe-Ajayi, also made the list, while Folashade Joseph, Managing Director, Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation, NAIC, Cecilia Gaya, Director-General, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, ASCON, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Kemi Nelson, Executive Director, Operations, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF were included among others.
Awosika, Binagwaho, Nwuneli
In the same vein, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika climbed the ladder as the new Chairman of Access Bank Plc. While Dr. Agnes Binagwaho and Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli were appointed as members on the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation. Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State also sworn-in Justice Esther Edigin as the seventh Chief Judge of the state, following the retirement of Justice Esohe Ikponmwen.
Hajiya Rabi Salisu Ibrahim
Aside that, the Emir of Zazzau, Zaria Emirate council turbaned the first female traditional title holder in recent years. Hajiya Rabi Salisu Ibrahim as ‘Uwar Marayun Zazzau’. Other women are also doing very well in their respective leadership and managerial positions.
In the international world, Nancy Pelosi was reelected as the first woman to be speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She became the highest-ranking woman elected official in U.S. history.
She presided over the impeachment of the President Donald Trump. She is serving as House Speakers on multiple non-consecutive terms. Over more than three decades in Congress, Pelosi has helped lead her caucus push for everything from Wall Street reform among others.
Karen Uhlenbeck, American mathematics was the first woman to win the Abel Prize for mathematics, March 19, 2019. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters recognized her as an emeritus professor at the University of Texas at Austin, for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.