Women Must Participate In Politics To Change The Narratives – Hon Ogunlola

Women Must Participate In Politics To Change The Narratives – Hon Ogunlola

Hon. Omowumi Olubumi Ogunlola represents Ijiro/Ekiti West/Efon Federal Constituency of Ekiti state . In this interview with AljazirahNigeria, she speaks on women participation in politics to change the narratives.

What is your reaction to the just concluded Constitution amendment?

What happened in the House of Representatives Chamber was an unfortunate event, It is so, because you can see hatred, rejection of womenfolk, rejection of women in general and even among our people that were there, they were telling us they hate us. Let me tell you something, there is nobody, no matter how good you are to yourself, that somebody will be telling you to your face that I hate you; would you like that? There is no woman in Nigeria that will be happy about the event that took place on the floor of the House of Representatives. We have four Bills and all the four Bills were thrown out. We cannot be happy about it.

Do you think the women legislators did enough lobbying to get the Bills scale through?

We have 109 members in the Senate, 360 lawmakers in the House; out of the 360 we have just 13 women. All we are saying is that you should be more accommodating, we should be our brothers’ keepers, we should also give them space to operate. We can do or operate, proffer solutions to something I have passed through or the problem I have experienced before. I am a woman, so I know where the shoes pinches , if it is not because of the outcry it will attract, the men would even want to take everything that belong to the women, for instance Commissioner for Women Affairs and Minister for Women Affairs , they will definitely take it if not for the hit it would generate. And they are so selfish, so uncivilized that is the problem we have. But let me assure them that what they are nurturing now the aftermath is unpredictable, it will certainly boomerang, it will return to haunt them.

Was the presence of the wife of the President and his deputy in the Chambers during the voting necessary?

They came in solidarity; there is nothing with their presence. They are women, whatever that affects the woman; the girl Child should interest them. Their presence alone should have weighed down on the members to vote for the Bills, but some lawmakers were even saying did she come to intimidate us? That is the level we have found ourselves. It has to do with insecurity on the part of our men, they felt insecure. It’s all about an inferiority complex, if not so, why struggling with a woman? What can a woman do, a woman does not do things the way men do, we give consideration for whatever we do, and men are not like that. In whatever decision we take, we first look inward, think about the children, think about our husband, men don’t think that way; men would go the whole hug to do things. They know that when a woman is given the chance she would do better, they would not have allowed it, they would want to slug it out with you and make sure they yank it off and that is what they are doing here, but we know God created us and we are here to stay. Women should come out en-masse, election is here, let’s see how they can win any elections, let women come out and vie for positions, let them present themselves for elective positions, until we are ready to take the Bull by the horns, we will remain at the same spot.

Women have been blamed for not doing much to change the narratives. What is your position?

I don’t know who is saying that, maybe until we drop dead at the plenary before they will know what we are doing. I am a member of the constitution review committee, we have been going round, lobbying, but it is a game of numbers, what are they saying? We are just 13 out of 360 and you are saying we have not done enough, who is that person saying that? The leadership was out to help us but their hands were tied. There was nothing we ought to do that we did not do, to the extent that we said the wife of the president and the Vice-president should come, all the Governors wives were in the entourage.
We have done what we are supposed to do but these people were adamant. What happened was premeditated, it was decided from day one that the Bills will not be passed. There are many things that are happening in the House that we cannot let out to the public.

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Gender equality