Monday, 29 June 2009
Iheoma is challenging the patriarchal nature of Nigerian politics by encouraging and preparing women to seek positions of authority at all levels of governance and bringing women to the forefront of decision-making bodies.
Iheoma believes that the exclusion of women is a major reason for the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian government in meeting the needs of the vast majority of Nigerians. To reverse this situation, Iheoma is building the capacity of urban and rural women to advocate for their rights and to include themselves in governance structures and political processes by participating effectively in Nigerian politics and decision-making at local, state and federal levels. To make her efforts sustainable, she also addresses on a broader, deeper level the systemic exclusion of women in the political structure in Nigeria.
Unlike many other gender-focused initiatives, Iheoma’s goes beyond women’s empowerment rhetoric and provides women with the resources they require to affect change at all levels of society and to ensure their inclusion in the governance of their country. Through her Women in Governance (WIG) networks, complemented by a sophisticated media and political strategy, Iheoma is equipping women to become political leaders and directly influence policy. Iheoma understands that women cannot assume leadership positions unless they have concrete skills and can articulate their goals and ideas. Next, they need opportunities within existing structures.