Dr. Eunice Orji

By Ezekiel Zik Kuni / posted October 6, 2022

Celebrated amazon entrepreneur, oil magnate and woman of faith, Dr. Eunice Orji called weighed in the call for participation of more women in government affairs and give urgent approval for the 35 percent affirmative action that’s being canvassed for gender balancing and empowerment.

The business tycoon and was the lead speaker at a Church summit to encourage women to get more involved in politics, organized by NNCC in Abuja, recently, where she called on the womenfolk to be energized for more action politically.

She expressed that Nigeria is a blessed nation filled with great potentials and many tribes made up of men, women, and children but unfortunately the women are not heard, saying they have been relegated to the background or to the ‘other room’, as President Buhari once remarked disdainfully when speaking of the duties of a woman. We have just a few women courageous enough to fight for political positions with the men.

The successful amazon declared that Nigeria has an abundant resource of courageous women who can fight for any political position on their own merits.

“We all are aware of the state of our nation. We have gone from being the giant of Africa to be the slaves of the world. Nations are rejecting our citizens who are roaming all around the world seeking for better lives for themselves and their families;

The present arrangement of male domination in leadership is not working.

It is time for us women to rise and come out from the other room into both informal and formal leadership. It is time to participate and use the potentials imbedded in us to bring our nation out of comatose.”

Continuing, she said; “women can make a lot of difference in our nation Nigeria. Being the bedrock of the home, our women are capable and have the capacity to handle any political position or handle the affairs of the country even better than what we have now. This is because women are loyal, faithful, dedicated and determined. They are not prone to corruption. Nigeria has very intelligent women whose abilities are not harnessed. “

Going down the lane, she recalled the likes of late Prof. Dora Akunyili, a Director General of National Agency of Food and Drug Administration and Control and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister, who accomplished a lot in their assigned offices.

Giving a bite from history, she said that, in 1929, women in the provinces of Calabar and Owerri in southeastern Nigeria led a protest which tagged the “Aba Women’s Riots of 1929”, noting that they were fighting for their rights. Thousands of Igbo women organized a massive revolt against the policies imposed by British colonial administrators in southeastern Nigeria.

There was also Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. She was a woman`s right activist and a political leader during her time.

The Bible in Chapters 4 and 5 Judges, recorded the story of Deborah, a prophetess, judge and heroine in the Old Testament who inspired the Israelites to mighty victories over their enemies.

We can see that women have been found in government/leadership dating back to bible era. Women have participated in bringing sanity to their nations

England was ruled by a monarch, a woman for over 70 years. Queen Elizabeth II who just passed on held the country together for 70 years. She was a wife and a mother too.

The amazon business woman then asked rhetorically, “why are women in this generation complacent?” She enthused that women are blessed by God and have great potentials to guide, nurture and to rule. Without the woman there is no home, country or nation. They are not only meant to marry, have children and end up in the kitchen. It is said that behind every King is a woman. Let us move from behind to the front.

She gave a continental reference how the women of Rwanda have shown that they can be fully involved in nation building.

After the genocide that claimed the lives of many Rwandan men in 1994, where churches, schools, and infrastructures were destroyed; offices and businesses looted and governance minimal. Almost a million male Rwandans were killed making the working population to become women dominated. With the populace faced with the challenge of ensuring the survival of their families, the women mobilized and took in orphaned children and organized support groups for widows.
In that way, the dogged Rwandan women quickly transited from the role of wives, mothers to reconstruction of their nation. They farmed and started doing business. They helped to sustain economic growth and helped to create stability in Rwanda. They joined politics and led Rwanda’s recovery.

They later went to serve as national directors, judges, and held seats in the commission tasked with drafting Rwandan new constitution. This created an emergent situation where about 86 per cent of Rwandan women became active in the national labour market. They also held 55 per cent of government cabinet positions and 61.3 per cent of seats in their country’s parliament.

That’s the story of how Rwanda became the first country in the world with female majority in parliament. The women of Rwanda played key roles in Gacaca (pronounced gah-CHA-cha), a kind of truth and reconciliation process that operated mainly at community level.

Rwanda has the highest rate of female labour force participation, not only in Africa but the world. They occupy three of the 12 seats of the commission tasked with drafting a new constitution for Rwanda. Among these women is Judith Kanakuze.

Rwandan women’s accomplishments in a nutshell include: initiating reconciliation effort, participating in drafting a new constitution, exercising influence in decentralization policies and forming a cross-party caucus in parliament to continue to work on security issues.

They also, helped in Influencing the formulation Policies, drafting constitution, making their voice heard in the National Unity reconciliation Commission Gacaca and generally, strengthening their parliament.

Drawing from the Rwandan expedience, Dr. Orji surmised that “if Rwandan women can reconstruct their country as they did, I believe Nigerian women can do much more”, and increase the voice of women in leadership positions including our parliament, she said.

There is an urgent need to focus on creating legal and social conditions where women and men have equal rights in politics and leadership.

She concluded, going forward, that there’s the urgent imperative to improve gender equality will hasten the process of economic growth, reduce poverty, enhance societal well-being, and help to ensure sustainable development, saying it is possible by extending political freedom and economic opportunities for women in Nigeria.

Giving the rallying call, the business amazon concluded that it is time for women both home and abroad to arise and take back our country which is presently facing monumental institutional and infrastructural development challenges.

“We have no other country but this one. Let us arise and restore Nigeria back to her position as the giant of Africa, if not of the world. We can do it”, she declared

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