Women rose in unison at a forum in Abuja on Thursday to disagree with a member of the House of Representatives who said Nigerian women are not ready for leadership roles in politics and business.
The member representing Kaltungo /Shangom Federal Constituency of Gombe state, Simon Karu, said this during the panel session at the dialogue on inclusive growth and women participation organised by Policy Development Facility Phase II (PDF II) in Abuja.
Mr Karu said women are mostly interested in small-scale businesses and use the profit for material things.
“Give a woman N10, 000 capital to start a business, she makes a profit of N15,000 and the next thing she thinks of is to buy shoes,” he said.
The lawmaker said he once “nominated two women for leadership roles” to the governor of his state, but the women “declined” to take the positions.
He said only about 10 per cent of women who were empowered in his state were able to expand their businesses.
“We also empowered some women and only about 10 per cent were able to grow their businesses. The problem is mostly with grassroots women,” he said.
He rejected suggestions that his criticism was ” negative.”
He advised women to redefine their paths in society to change the views about them.
But women at the event were unanimous in rejecting the lawmaker’s view.