How Governor Godwin Obaseki is breaking gender bias in Nigeria
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How Governor Godwin Obaseki is breaking gender bias in Nigeria

By Ikponmwosa Osamede

A good number of African men have the mentality of seeing themselves as the 'all in all' and literally perceives the female folk as subspecie in terms of intelligence and mental capacity. Sadly, nothing much has been done by the society to correct this erroneous thinking. Little by little, this mindset is being inculcated by some parents in their male children at a tender age. A vicious cycle is thus created. 

Recently, the National Assembly overwhelmingly voted against all bills proposed to grant women sure footing in Nigeria's political space. It was deeply saddening to see some 'honourable' Representatives explain away the reason for their dishonourable action. Some echoed the words 'no woman can comfortably attend political meetings at night' - as if to say that political meetings have been codified to only hold at night. 

Despite the Beijing Declaration of 1995, the female folks throughout Nigeria's recent democratic history have never occupied up to 10% of positions in the public sector. It is thus revolutionary that down in the southern part of Nigeria, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki has dared to change the narrative irrespective of whose ox is gored. He has written his name in gold and in the sands of time by his favourable disposition to women in the state. He has ensured that women take their place in the political space without fear or discrimination. He has shown the rare breed of politician he is.

No government in Nigeria has given more slots to women for government positions like Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State. More than 30% of cabinet rank positions are held by women in Edo State while women make up more than 50% of permanent secretaries. Mandatory political slots also exists for women across the 192 wards and 18 local government areas in the State. This slots have since been filled by brilliant Edo women. 

He has also charged political leaders to change the status quo and correct the anomaly of making women only good for election mobilization and never for political positions.

Governor Godwin Obaseki is thus eradicating the warped ideology of gender bias in Nigeria. It is my sincere wish that other States, our Representatives and the Federal Government emulates our all-round political reformer in Edo State in this revolutionary ideology.

Ikponmwosa Osamede (Ik Osamede) writes from Benin City.

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