On the 8th of April 2014, under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, Nigeria officially became the largest economy in Africa overtaking South Africa, for the first time in history. His policy thrusts have positioned him as the first African leader to fully embrace and execute the Beijing 30% quota; President Goodluck Jonathan boldly appointed an unprecedented number of women into strategic federal level positions directly linked to his Transformation Agenda. Women now have a fair chance to play a part in shaping the destiny of the great country of Nigeria.
We were especially delighted to have the Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E.Joseph Habineza, to share with us his wealth of knowledge on the success story for women’s empowerment that has taken place in Rwanda. There women presently hold an unprecedented 64 per cent of seats in parliament, more than any another country in the world. The prominent role played by women in parliament and throughout the government has helped transform attitudes throughout Rwandan society. Few today could dispute that the influence and leadership of women has been essential to Rwanda’s current social and economic progress.
This Winihin Jemide Series’ GEED Conference on Women in Government and Politics: Africa Edition 2014 highlighted the Rwandan case study and those of other African countries that have successfully adopted and implemented electoral gender quotas for parliaments with similar governmental bodies across Africa. We also illustrated the clear link between Gender Emergence, through the election of more women to political office and Economic Development.
The conference placed the use of gender quotas under the microscope and explore the factors that equate to identifying and advancing the right female candidates and encouraging their performance at the general elections.