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Obasanjo encourages women to participate more in politics



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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday urged women to get more involved in politics, ahead of 2019.

Obasanjo delivered a lecture at the 14th Annual Lecture of Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ), a non-governmental organisation, in Lagos.

The WIMBIZ Annual Lecture series, which is a public forum that attracts over 500 women, is designed to discuss topical issues that affect women, their role in nation building and their personal, business or organisational development.

The former president, who spoke on “Press for Progress: Women, Politics and Nation Building” said that women were not doing enough for themselves.

He said: “Human beings are the same, men and women. We need fair treatment of women. Gender inequality has cost Africa so much.

“Negotiate as 2019 election is coming, but the table is turned against you. In 2019 election, women must have a place of honour.

“You should all say enough is enough. Women, as the majority, must be reckoned with in the overiding interest of the general good of our people.

“The society must correct the impression that it is only women who have nothing to do or have been failing other endeavours that go into politics.

“A way to do this is to ensure that successful women who occupy top cadres in the society should join politics so as to give stiffer competition to the male counterpart.

‘We must discriminate positively in favour of women, and women themselves must know how to use other women for their good in politics.

“The reason for the positive discrimination is not because women are inferior, but while they have what it takes to succeed in politics, the men folk have continued to hold them back.

“And so, the positive discrimination will solve such problem,” he said.

The ex-president encouraged women who desire to go into politics to be strong.

Obasanjo emphasised that Nigeria had intelligent women that could transform the nation.

The former president said that such women must be sought and encouraged to get involved.

He said that the perception that women women in politics were of easy virtue was wrong.

“Some people say when a woman goes into politics, she becomes a woman of easy virtue. Doing politics does not make you a woman of easy virtue. We have to do something about this perception,” the ex-president said.

He said there was a need for special provision for women until they can compete on the same level with their male counterparts.

On the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), Obasanjo said it was one of the things he was paying attention to.

He reiterated that he would cease to be member the moment the movement metamorphosed into a political party.

“I am giving them encouragment; I have registered and I believe that as at today, we have registered more than 3 million people.

“My belief is that we need a grassroots movement that can bring the change that this country needs.

“We need the platform and we need the system,” he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Olubunmi Talabi, the Executive Council Chairperson of WIMBIZ, said that the government must implement the affirmative action on women inclusion in nation-building.

Talabi, who noted the Nigerian women are intelligent, said Nigeria will be better with a minimum of 30 per cent women inclusion in both elective and appointive positions.

Our correspondent reports that the group unveiled and launched Volume 2 of “The New WimBiz Inspire Me: Image of Nigerian Working Women” at the event.


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