Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Nigerian Women Hall of Fame, domiciled at the complex of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), is set to be a tourist centre for foreign nationals and diplomats who visit the country on official assignments.
Also, Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Vintage Garba Masi, the first woman to win three consecutive Nigerian parliamentary elections and first female to represent two states in the Senate, respectively, were among the 23 inductees into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame.
The Special Adviser to the president on Diaspora and Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who disclosed this in Abuja, Monday, said the hall of fame will be one of the official places of call as it adds to the Nigerian story which has women as major catalyst for national development.
She said:”The Nigerian Women Hall of Fame will be one of the places to be visited whenever we have foreign visitors. In fact, once we take them from the airport, this will be the first place we will bring them so that they can have a feel of the contributions that have been made by the women of Nigeria.”
The director-general of the centre, Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta, in her speech themed “Celebrating Nigerian Women Icons of Hope”, said apart from the expectations of women in the new cabinet, budgetary allocation for women programmes needed to be increased as there’s so much more to be done especially in training and empowerment.
She lamented that despite the fact that the country’s population was made up of about 50 per cent or more women, the opportunity to participate in all human endeavours had been limited, hence the induction which was expected to break barriers and pave way for young girls, especially secondary school girls. She said: “We are expecting 35 per cent representation in the next cabinet and in the scheme of things. Federal government needs to increase the budget being allocated to women in order for us to fulfill our mandate which is very high and we have a lot to do. We need to train in several things. Improvement is needed to do much more.
“It has been very difficult for women to attain high status. So for a woman who can break such a glass ceiling, such a woman needs documentation. The icons will serve as role models to young ladies. This is not about decoration but to pave way for secondary school girls.
She added that the selection was done on merit with proofs which had been documented, and assured that modalities which included quest for excellence, integrity and other positive attributes were the ingredients considered for selection.
Other inductees include Hajiya Maryam Sanusi Dantata, women and youth empowerment; Flt. Lt. Blessing Liman, first female military pilot; Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, first female judge of the Appeal Court; and Dr. Stella Adadevoh, for saving Nigeria from the spread of the Ebola virus, among others.