Ethiopia recently made history when its prime minister Abbiy Ahmad announced a 50/50 gender-balanced cabinet. This is an unprecedented push for gender parity in Africa’s second most populous nation. This, in my opinion, is the boldest and smartest move by an African leader.
With Women as ministers of Defence, trade, transport & labour, science and revenue, Ethiopa is heading towards becoming the real Giant of Africa.
Indeed a smart singular move by its prime minister Ahmed who is only 7 months old in office, shows true reforms & transformation are high on his agenda; in a nation that is known for its patriarchal traditions & authoritarian governance. This deliberate action has sent a strong message to the world that truly a nation cannot succeed when it leaves half of its population behind.
Sadly, Nigeria has left half of its population behind – the Women – and there seems to be no hope. Nigeria must wake up from this deep nightmarish slumber if there must be progress. The “Giant of Africa” is loosing it’s grip, it’s position, day by day. Nigeria must emulate Ethiopia. We can only be truly giant if we take giant steps.
I will borrow the loud thoughts of a concerned Male Nigerian… “If it’s too late in electingwomen. There should be an intentional and deliberate appointment of women into cabinet and parastatals”
I call on the Nigerian government to be intentional; to be deliberate. Please be deliberate and embrace, involve and appoint more women for the sake of democracy.
Every political party must stop paying lip service to affirmative action and do the honourable thing. Field morewomen. Let’s vote for women. I urge both men andwomen to vote women and see what women do. Where there’s no female candidate, let’s vote for only male candidates with a deliberate and positive woman agenda. This is the only way to a true democracy; to real change; to real power. This is the only way to a progressive, democratic and sustainable Nigeria.
Toun Okewale Sonaiya is the CEO of WomenRadio 91.7 – Nigeria’s only Radio station for Women and their families.