*”INCLUSION AND EQUALITY : WHY WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP MATTERS”*
Women participation in leadership, decision – making, elected office, public administration and peace building, in all of which there is still a considerable way to go globally in advancing gender equality.
It is a basic human right for women to enjoy full legal equality and equality of opportunity, and for a girl born today, in any country, to have the same life prospects as any boy. All societies are the poorer if they fail to tap the full potential of half their population, and do not remove the obstacles which so often prevent women from rising to leadership in political systems and else where.
Having critical mass of women in leadership and decision-making positions is positive for human development in all countries – whether developed or developing, and whether countries are living in peace or recovering from conflict, or in the process of a democratic transition.
Fair representation and participation of women in governance is one of the preconditions for achieving genuine democracy. When there is a critical mass of women decision-makers, the issues which previously went unaddressed can become priorities.
Accordingly, the meaningful participation of women in national, local and community leadership roles has become an important focus on global development policy.
Women’s political participation results in tangible gains for democracy, including greater responsiveness to citizens needs, increased cooperation across party and ethnic lines and more sustainable future.
Women’s participation in politics helps advance gender equality and affects both the range of policy issues that get considered and the types of solutions that are proposed.
There is also strong evidence that as more women are elected into office, there is a corollary increase in policy making that emphasizes quality of life and reflects the priorities of families, women and ethnic and racial minorities.
Studies have shown that more than men, women tend to :
✔ Work across party lines.
✔ Be highly responsive to constituents concerns.
✔ Help secure lasting peace.
✔ Encourage citizens confidence in democracy through their own participation, and
✔ Prioritize health, education, and other key development indicators.
Women’s engagement is critical – and it is important to recognize that women are not a homogeneous group. Clearly, women’s representation is a critical factor for the development of inclusive, responsive and transparent democracies.
The positive impact of women in politics is undeniable!
“Study after study has taught us, there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity or to reduce child and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation.” ~ Kofi Annan.
For these and many more reasons, we call on the intellectual and gender unbiased Governor of Kogi State – His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello, who believes in gender equality by appointing a female ADC, first in the history of Nigeria to make history yet again as the Council Polls draw near, to give his support to the only female aspirant for Kabba /Bunu Local Government Chairman – Towonifinni Mosiko.
Let us give women the chance to prove their competence!