Women in Management Business and Public service (WIMBIZ) has called for increased women representation in Nigeria’s public sector leadership.
According to a communique issued by the organisation, the proportion of female representation and politics (elective and appointive positions) participation in Nigeria, in the public service remains undeniably disheartening.
It stated that “The national average of women’s political participation in Nigeria remains a mere 6.7 per cent both in elective and appointive positions, far below the global average of 22.5 per cent, Africa regional average of 23.4 per cent and West African sub-regional average of 15 per cent.”
It added that the situation continues to persist despite the strong advocacy for gender equality and inclusive development by social movements and organisations like WIMBIZ and National Gender Policy (NGP) to building a nation devoid of gender discrimination, guaranteeing equal access to political, social and economic wealth creation opportunities for women and men.
According to the communique, Nigeria is ranked 122nd position out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report of 2017 released by the World Economic Forum aimed at closing the gender gap across nations.
“The need for the participation and inclusion of women in political and public office cannot be overstated. For there to be democracy in its true sense and construct in any country, there must be a descriptive representation of all genders in the country,” communique read.
It added that there is an abundance of capacity, capability or character which is already visible in the private sector as women sit at the helm of affairs of major corporations and industries, disrupting age-long misperceptions and biases about women.
WIMBIZ also noted that even when women are eventually appointed as leaders in the Nigerian public service or elected into political offices, they are often shamed for doing their jobs with transparency and integrity and disgraced out without justification.
“There are countless examples of female leaders being unfairly targeted, harassed, taunted, bullied and attacked often in excess of what their male counterparts have to contend with. Worse still, they are forced to deal with an un-relentless barrage of gender bias and deep-rooted misogyny,” it read
WIMBIZ concluded that for Nigeria to achieve meaningful, inclusive and sustainable development and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal 5 target of ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life by 2030, women need to be properly empowered and represented in public sector leadership.