Ms. Odili drew a link between gender inequality and domestic violence, war, poverty, gang rapes, national unrest, and slow economic growth.
A Nigerian has won the Commonwealth Women in Leadership Essay competition for proffering reasons and ways governments could promote women involvement in leadership and policy making in their countries.
Nonyem Obiageli Odili took the first position in the 18-29 age category when the winner was announced at the 10th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting held June 17-19 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The essay focuses on engaging the youth in promoting gender equality and women empowerment within the Commonwealth.
Another Nigerian, Edem Andah, took the 3rd place in the same category for her essay advocating an all inclusive renewed socialization and political education process granting women greater participation in leadership.
Tang Sze Lin was also honoured for taking the 1st position in the 15-17 age category.
A panel of 22 adjudicators selected Ms. Odili’s essay among entries from participants across 54 Commonwealth nations.
Ms. Odili’s piece, according to the judges, best highlighted the importance and significance of having more women in the economy and in decision-making processes, global financial markets, leading banks, and national policy making bodies.
In her essay titled ‘How and Why Should Governments Encourage Women’s Leadership,’ Ms. Odili undertook a comparative analysis of select countries in the Commonwealth to highlight the “overwhelming number of women” excluded from leadership position globally.
She also pointed out that a progressive democracy can only be achieved with the involvement of women – the significant majority of the world’s population – in the decision making process.
Ms. Odili drew a link between gender inequality and domestic violence, war, poverty, gang rapes, national unrest, and slow economic growth, supported with data from the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality 2005-2015.
She concluded that achieving gender equality is not about using quota systems of positive discrimination to favour women into leadership positions but about governments empowering women with education and necessary skills.
“Without key implementations in place, such as education, encouraging women in leadership is like drilling an oil well with an office pin,” Ms. Odili wrote.