The Role of Nigerian Women in Leadership

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By Joy Okorie — October 4, 2019. 

The value placed on professional and personal life is crucial to effective leadership skills. Women lack the opportunity and support they need to compete with men in areas like politics. Voters also fail to understand the importance of having both men and women in government. This is evident in the 2015 Taraba state Gubernatorial election where Aisha Alhassan also known as ‘Mama Taraba’ the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate was elected as the first female governor of the state.

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The Appeal court later declared her election into the office as invalid by stating that the APC did not have jurisdiction over the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The federal government adopted a policy in 2000 known as ‘Nigeria Policy of Women’ to help ensure that women had equal opportunity as men to participate in government yet women are not given the opportunity to hold meaningful positions in government.

Every organization needs a leader irrespective of the gender or age. In working towards growth and development for a better Nigeria, women should be involved in leadership roles. It is pertinent to note that leadership is not gender-specific, it is a set of qualities inherent or cultivated in people who develop themselves into great leaders and the ability to influence and persuade people to follow a particular course of action towards the realization of a goal.

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Over the years, women are not encouraged to take leadership roles as often as the male counterpart. However, they are gradually making their presence felt in health, education, administration, communication, engineering and entrepreneur to mention a few. These levels range from regional, national and global.

Women are constantly evolving and reaching new millstones across a wide spectrum of human activities. Olajumoke Adenowo, Folake Solanke, Ire Aderinokun, Sarah Nnadzwa Jubril, Grace Alele Williama, Tara Fela Durotoye, Folorunsho Alakija, Folake Coker, Uche Eze Pedro, Kehinde Kamson, Chimamanda Adiche, Ndidi Okonkwo, and many others are examples of women who are making headway in leadership positions.

It is no news that all qualities required for leadership in building a more sustainable future are feminine in nature. Women are flexible and empathetic. They are also good builders, good listeners, good communicators and emotionally intelligent. They encourage teamwork, lead by example and produce to reproduce the qualities for growth and development in any organisation. In all, women are all encompassing. An organisation or society can not function effectively and efficiently without women participation.

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Women are weighty towards a better Nigeria. Their importance to the growth of any institution either society or organization can not be over emphasized. Many statistics show that organization led by women have better financial results. Research shows that 65% of women in leadership positions are people who share their knowledge and connect with their colleagues to help the team and the business. Women may not always realize how poised for success they are in leadership roles but their potential and abilities are undeniable towards a better Nigeria.

In today’s world, women are not so involved in leadership role and their impacts to some extent are trivial. The role played by Nigerian women is all encompassing. Therefore, they should be encouraged to take up leadership roles to increase the pace of societal transformation at home and workplace thereby providing an integrated view of work and family. This will result in an engaging and promising personal and professional future for a better Nigeria.

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