Anambra women are not lagging behind in `affirmative action’

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SOME women Non-governmental groups have hailed Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra for recognising positive contributions of Women by empowering them with top positions.

One of such groups, Women Action Congress said they were particularly moved by the manner in which Anambra State government acknowledged the women folk and assigned high profile positions to them.

The recognition is an apparent response to recommendations contained in the 1995 Beijing Conference, which ostensibly asserted the rights of women as equals to their men folk.

Indeed, part of the recommendation was providing for 30 per cent affirmative action for the women in Government and public institutions across the country.

The recommendation specifically advocated that the women should have equal access to economic resources, including land, credit, science and technology, vocational training, information, communication and markets, as a means of providing impetus for advancement and empowerment of women and girls.

This also include enhancement of their capacities to enjoy the benefits of equal access to these resources.

It is perhaps in keeping some of these recommendations that more than any other government across the federation, the Governor Willie Obiano administration in Anambra has continued to demonstrate faith by giving positions of authority to the women in forms of key Government appointments.

The current statistics of women in considerable positions of authority in Anambra has shown that the women are not lagging behind at all.

Perhaps, the floodgate to such key attainments was paved by Virgy Etiaba, who to date remains the only woman so far to have attained the position of governor in Nigeria.

This was made possible after Peter Obi, the immediate past governor of Anambra, was impeached by the then Anambra State House of Assembly. And as a consequence, Etiaba, who was deputy governor at the time, was sworn in as governor and so became the first female governor in Nigeria.

There is no doubt that she distinguished herself by putting up sterling performance, during the brief period in the saddle.

Only recently, the state witnessed an appointment of the first woman chief judge of Anambra. She is Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu. Her appointment followed voluntary retirement of Justice Peter Umeadi and the mantle, naturally fell on Onwuamaegbu, the most senior judge in the state Judiciary.

Indeed, even before then, of the 19 commissioner positions in Anambra State Executive Council, five are females – they are Sally Mbanefo, (Culture, Tourism), Ndidi Mezue (Children & Women Affairs), Kate Omenugha (Basic Education), Obianuju Nwogu (Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice) as well as Theresa Nkechi Obiekezie (Tertiary Education).

The speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly is Rita Mmaduagwu, a woman.

Of the three senatorial seats in Anambra, two zones would be represented by two women – Stella Oduah (Anambra North) and Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central).

Three major tertiary institutions in the state have three ladies heading them. Ifeyinwa Osaegbo, a lady, is the provost, Anambra State College of Education, Nsugbe, while Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu is headed by JO Ogbuagu, also a woman.

Even a recently appointed rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, is Francisca Nwafulugo, a woman.

Kate Omenugha, the Anambra State commissioner for Basic Education, in a recent interview, hailed the appointment of Dr Nwafulugo as substantive first female Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko.

“This is the first time that a woman will be appointed to head the institution,’’ she acknowledged.

According to Prof Omenugha, the women folks are doing well. The current Anambra State Governor Chief Obiano has shown confidence in their ability to perform by providing opportunities to women folk.

“The women are equally as good as the men, if given a fair chance, the women will easily get to the top.”

– Mar. 13, 2019 @ 17:49 GMT |

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