Hundreds and thousands of women have continued to cross the mark of ultimate breakthrough as an Outlier. According to Malcom Gladwell’s theory, these women are 20,000 hours extra past the 10,000 hour mark. But in the world we live in, women not only have to cop 10,000 hours of practice, they also have to prove their worth and experience, especially in the cut throat world of politics. Women with extraordinary achievements are often faced with barriers, If there is a woman at a table with four men, it is best believed that the woman had to prove her worth ten times more than the men on the table.
Despite their many achievements while serving their country and their dedication to other international duties, these women have also had to juggle to keep a balance between their roles as care giver for their family, being a wife, raise successful children and still cater for the demands of their professional lives. It is a wonder their capability to run a country is even being questioned and heavily debated around the world.
In honor of this year’s independence ceremony, we at Spice TV Celebrate some of the women who have done remarkable things for Nigeria in recent times.
In 2015 Prof Remi Sonaiya emerged as Nigeria’s first ever female presidential candidate. Prof Sonaiya did what no Nigerian woman ever dared to do. She came out Under the KOWA party, with a vision to take women from leading behind the scenes to working with the spotlight shining directly above them. With female African presidents from Liberia and Malawi to look up to, prof Sonaiya has paved way with her bravery and belief in the great women of a great nation to come out, stand head to head and show the male candidates that women aren’t afraid to play the game of politics.
Gbemisola Saraki surprised Nigeria in 2011 when she went head strong to run for the gubernatorial seat in kwara state, against Abdulfatah Ahmed, her brother’ protégée. Forming her own party and warming her way into the hearts of kwarans, Gbemisola Saraki had a dream and a vision of a state that would treat women in all fairness and gratitude. Giving her brother a run for his money, she prove to Nigerians that the figurative glass ceiling cannot stop a determined woman.
The late Dora Akunyili was an uncompromising and strong willed woman, who defied gender norms and made history when she went headstrong to eradicate the country of counterfeit drugs and unsafe food. Mrs Akunyili stepped on foots that were perceived as sacred and brought fluke manufactures to justice.
In 2006 Okonjo Iweala resumed office as a member of president Obasanjo’s cabinet and cleared Nigeria of the £32 billion debt the country owed Paris. Some years after she played a very important role in the purging of over 55,000 ghost workers in the Nigerian civil service system, once again saving the country hundreds of millions of dollars. Her youWIN programme is rated as one of the best start up programmes in the world by world bank. Okonjo Iweala has successfully spearheaded quite a number of projects, she is also the first woman to hold the role of Finance minister and Foreign affairs minister in Nigerian and has been listed for 5 consecutive years as one of Forbes most influential people in the world. Okonjo Iweala has threaded through the path that pose as a challenge, even for the strongest of men.
She is the current Minister of Finance in Nigeria. Having earned over 25 years of experience in accounting and finance, and four years of experience as her states commissioner of finance, she has continued to excel in her occupation, despite the silent sneers and criticism from people who believe she is not qualified for the job.
Amina Mohammed has over 30 years of experience in the development field for both private and government projects. She was appointed as the Minister for environment in Buhari’s cabinet. Prior to her appointment, Amina Mohammed has served on many international advisory boards and panels, designing and developing government projects to reduce poverty in Nigeria, to name a few of her great achievements through the years. Her greatest and latest achievements being her appointment as the 5th Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
Obi ezekwesili is a popular activist whose strong suit and relentless involvement in ensuring the government did something about the safe return of the kidnapped Chibok school girls has earned her a spot on our countdown. Professionally, she is a chartered accountant. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany. She served as Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during the second-term presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Since then, she served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division from May 2007 to May 2012.
Her selflessness and bravery is the reason why Nigeria was able to contain the deadly Ebola virus that hit the county in 2014. She was the great granddaughter of Herbert Macaulay and the grand niece of Nnamdi Azikiwe. Although Doctor Adadevoh died on the 19th of August 2014, she will forever be remembered for her sacrifice. She wasn’t a politician, but her kind heart is what has earned her a spot in our countdown.