UN Deputy Secretary General lauds women’s efforts in Nigeria: When women claim a space they must never give it up

Despite efforts by women’s organizations, national actors, international development partners, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), women represent only 3.8% of elective positions both at the federal and state levels and constitute only 16.2% of appointive positions in the federal executive cabinet in Nigeria.

Date: Friday, July 9, 2021

Several gender equality and women empowerment advocates have made some notable gains through drawing awareness on the importance of women in leadership and, supporting the passage of other frameworks such as the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Bill and the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) Act.

It is against this backdrop that UN Women in Nigeria supported a high-level breakfast meeting to discuss the importance of having a consensus among women in the National Assembly on proposed gender reforms (Constitutional review and GEO Bill) towards increasing women’s political participation. The meeting was graced by UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamed who, in her remarks encouraged younger women and men to keep telling their stories to build the social fabric of Nigeria.  She emphasized the importance of having women at the highest levels of leadership including the United Nations where they can be equally part of decision-making processes.

‘When I resumed my role, African women heading various agencies in the UN were around 9, currently the number stands at 19; these changes were only possible with the support of the Secretary General who understands the important role women play. When women join leadership, they can bring everyone along’ Amina Mohamed, UN Deputy Secretary General.

Amina Mohammed shares a moment with Lois Auta of the Network of Disabled Women

Amina Mohammed shares a moment with Lois Auta of the Network of Disabled Women. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

 Adding, the UN Deputy Secretary General underlined the need to speak up against Gender based violence and issues of mental health, which are both silent pandemics, tearing homes and societies.   Also in attendance was Hon. Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women’s Affairs who welcomed all the women leaders and their representatives, thanking UN Women for always providing support to the ministry.

The interactive convening was moderated by Dr. Amina Salihu with forty participants drawn from the National Assembly, Civil Society Organizations, and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs including federal female lawmakers, civil society gender activists and young women activists in attendance.


More information:
  • Faith Bwibo - Communication Specialist, UN Women Nigeria - faith.bwibo@unwomen.org