By Ignatius Ushie
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that women have proved to be very intelligent and capable of holding positions of authority than the mere 35 per cent affirmative action policy.
A statement by Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, Media to the minister, made available to Transport Day in Abuja disclosed that Amaechi said this while speaking as a Special Guest at the 2nd edition of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN) Forum, held in Abuja.
The National Gender Policy (NGP) has formulated a 35 per cent Affirmative Action (AA) in Nigeria since 2006. The policy demands that women should constitute 35 per cent of those involved in all governance processes.
According to him, women should start fielding in for position based on merit and performance, not because of gender.
He said that women should see inclusiveness in governance as a right and women in all sphere of life should be carried along.
“I do not support male domination, neither do I support female domination, I believe that all of you seated here are qualified to rule this nation, I don’t believe that a particular seat should be set aside for a woman, reason is that, women are by far more intelligent than men.
“The Deputy Secretary- General of the United Nations, Amina Muhammed was selected not because she was a woman but because she performed excellently well in her previous position.
“When I am invited to a function and women are gathered dancing, I just wonder why women should be dancing at a function, women should be taking more seriously than dancing at a function, when you get to the table assert your authority as somebody who is brilliant, who is intelligent to get what others are getting.
“Don’t tell me you are on the table and should be given a position because you are a woman, don’t ask that any seat should be set aside for you, ask for your right, it is your right, women in politics stay for meetings till 2am, so if your husband allow you to join politics, he should be ready to support you,” he said.
Amaechi said that women should come together to support and elevate each other, not bringing each other down because they are the same reason why some men do not give women appointments.
He said that all the women he ever gave an appointment deserve it on merit not because they are women.
“Any woman I have ever given appointment to merited it, but you are also a problem unto yourselves. If appointment is given to a woman, a fellow woman will start saying the man is dating the woman not because she merited it, which is one of the reasons I stopped.”
Amaechi, however, urged women to support one another to make progress and also reach out to women at the grassroots level to give them a voice too.