Member representing Askira Uba and Hawul Federal Constituency in the Nigerian House of Representatives and delegation member to ECOWAS Parliament, Hon Haruna Mshelia has identified Culture, Religion and lack of Education as the major bane of women empowerment in the West African sub-region.
Hon Haruna Mshelia gave this insight, Wednesday, at the ongoing Delocalized meeting on Women Empowerment in Monrovia, Liberia. According to the Borno born lawmaker, women and men possess the same capability but Religion and cultural barriers have been used to suppress the female gender.
“Studies have shown that men and women possess the same mental capacity to lead. So, where is the male dominance coming from? Certainly, from Religion and negative cultural practices, which have relegated women to the background.
“In many countries in Europe, women have taken up challenging leadership roles and have in most cases, out performed men. In Germany Angela Merkel have been there for almost two decades. Same in New Zealand etc.
The lecturer turned politician further explained that the current arrangement confers automatic advantage on men, saying culture and religion has done more harm to women aspiration than any other known factors.
To redress this anomalies, Dr Mshelia suggested “Affirmative Action backed by law from the level of ECOWAS Parliament. A level playing ground must be created for men and women by abolition of negative cultural practices.”
It is said that when people go through education, the law governing his/her thought will change. Hence, on how to leverage on education to empower women, Dr Mshelia advocated that women should be given advantage like Affirmative Action, pending when they will catch up with their male counterpart.
He urged ECOWAS Parliament to talk less and do more, saying talks has been on for too long without necessary back up actions.