Throughout history, the role of women in the society have been a necessary constituent for the national development of any nation. Their importance is evident both in modern and traditional sectors, not only as housewives and mothers in society, but also by their contribution to the quality of day to day life.
The central role of women; which is to ensure the stability, progress and achievement of sustainable development in the society; have had great impact on the developed nations of today. However, in Nigeria, women are still relegated to the background as they lack the educational, economic and political power necessary to actualize their innate potentials.
In Nigeria, just as it is in all parts of the world, women are facing threats to their lives, health and well-being as a result of being overburdened with work and of their lack of power and influence. This unfavorable narrative is driven by different power relations. The power relations that impede women’s attainment of healthy and fulfilling lives operate at many levels of society; from the most personal to the highly public.
By eliminating all forms of violence against women, and bringing about a balanced representation of women and men in all sectors, leaders can play a central role as an active variable in shaping a more democratic, stabilized and developed society.
Speaking at the Vanguard Media Limited International Women’s Day Conference 2022, the Chairman of Access Bank Plc, Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika admonished Nigeria to allow women to play an active role in moving the nation forward.
“At the moment, women represent about 49.3 per cent of the Nigerian population. Will anyone say that is not a significant figure? Neglecting 50 per cent of your population in decision making will be to your own detriment because the level of progress will be very slow. What it means is that you have decided that this nation will not move forward,” Dr Awosika said.
To enhance the results of nation-building, researchers have concluded that nation builders should work to reconcile traditional values with progressive ideas involving women’s participation in society. In addition, leaders should establish governance based on principles of equity and consistent rule of law, and should include women in the earliest economic reconstruction activities.