March 8, 2024

IWD: Having women as leaders, decision-makers ‘ll better democracy – PDP


PDP and its colour flags

John Alechenu, Abuja

The National Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Amina Divine Arong, has said democracy will be better served if more women are elected into political office.

Arong said this in an address of welcome at the ongoing 2024 edition of the International Women’s Day Celebration and Lecture with PDP Women, in Abuja.

Quoting Michele Bachelet, Arong said, “For me, a better democracy, is a democracy where women do not only have the right to vote and to elect but to be elected.”

Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration which is; “Inspire Inclusion”, she noted that it addresses a key issue confronting women globally.

Adding, “Our sub-theme which is; ‘Supporting Women And Girls Into Political

“Leadership’ is born out of the dire need and advocacy for adequate female representation in politics.

“Women’s equal participation and leadership in politics are one of the keys to the achievement of the sustainable development goals by 2030.:

“According o the data made available by the United Nations, as of January 10th 2024, there are 26 countries where women serve as Heads of state or government, with only 15 countries out of 195 in the world. having a woman as Head of State and 16 having women as head of government which you will all agree is quite poor.

“Sadly, despite women being powerful agents of change with proven benefits, they have continued to be under-represented in Politics, and other sectors.

“The importance of having women in leadership positions cannot be overemphasized as result has shown clearly that Companies and organizations led by women seem to have fared better than their
counterparts during times of financial crisis.

“Having women as leaders and decision-makers at all levels is critical to advancing gender justice, and gender equality and furthers economic, social, and political progress for all.

“Women have also established themselves as a symbol of unity and cooperation, playing pivotal roles in the survival of a family which is a basic social organization not forgetting to mention that women value accountability. Accountability is an important leadership quality.

“A leader who understands the value of accountability will not put the onus of any loss or blunder on individuals or members of their team or organization. “

Speaking further she said, “You may ask, ‘Why politics’? My response will simply be that Politics allows citizens to have a say or decide what happens around them and to a large extent the country. Political decisions people may affect them and the lives of many others as every law or policy made, and every decision taken will either yield a positive result or have an adverse negative effect on the people.”

She explained that while we must continue to advocate for the active participation of women in politics in Nigeria, it is also very key that we imbibe the culture of actively supporting women and girls into leadership positions as well as involve them in decision-making processes.

She said, “We must pave the way for women and girls and invest in their right to active political participation, as a necessary step to achieving global gender equality and democratic governance and ultimately bring .them into leadership positions.

“This in turn will create a ripple effect that will yield multiple benefits not only for women and girls but for the family unit, communities and the country at large.”

Speaking on what ought to be done to achieve the best results, Arong said, “We must first get the inspiration to lead and aspire for leadership roles and positions and must be equipped, prepared and trained and capable of handling such roles.

“Women who have found their way into leadership positions must ensure they provide access to opportunities for growth and development.

“We must end discrimination against working mothers and break down ‘maternal walls’ which is prejudices faced by working mothers and women seeking jobs.

“Empower women to be financially independent and also create a monetary scheme that allows women generate fund as a means of support for women who intend to run for elective offices.

“Appointive and Elective positions within the party must be seen to reflect the 35 percent affirmative action enshrined in party constitutions and should not be restricted to only a position.

“Young women and girls must be groomed and encouraged not maligned and shut out of the political space.

“Getting them involved in projects, programs, Party activities and processes and affording them the opportunity to play key roles within the party will go a long way to motivate and prepare them for effective leadership.

“Also catching them young by taking tours to institutions and secondary schools will further help inspire and also identify young women and girls who have interest in politics. “