As the world observes International Women’s Day (IWD), it’s crucial to highlight the remarkable contributions of female lawmakers in Nigeria who are making significant strides in shaping the political landscape.

These women are increasingly breaking barriers and advancing in politics, particularly in the legislative realm, showcasing resilience, intelligence, and a dedication to driving positive change.

Currently, there are 20 female lawmakers out of 469 in the Senate and House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly, with four senators and 16 representatives.

Here, we spotlight seven exceptional female lawmakers in Nigeria who have been making waves and inspiring change as we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024. Let’s take a closer look at their contributions:

 

Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan,

Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, representing Kogi Central under the PDP, currently serves as the Senate Chair of the Local Content Committee.

Unlike her colleagues, Akpoti assumed office as senator in November 2023, following a legal battle that declared her the winner of the February 28 Kogi Central Senatorial Election. She gained national attention after presenting an investigative report to the National Assembly on corrupt activities surrounding the Ajaokuta steel mill.

Despite facing opposition from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Akpoti remains a trailblazer in Nigerian politics, advocating for women’s inclusion, youth empowerment, and infrastructure development. She’s known for sponsoring bills aimed at advancing women’s rights, improving access to education and healthcare, and promoting economic opportunities for women across the nation.

A lawyer and Social Entrepreneur, Akpoti’s active participation during plenary sessions and committee engagements highlights her commitment to driving positive change in the 10th Senate.

 

 

Senator Ireti Kingibe

Senator Ireti Kingibe, representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Labour Party (LP), serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs.

She is the wife of Amb. Babagana Kingibe, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

As the second female to win a Senatorial election in the FCT, Kingibe began her political career in the 1990s as an advisor to the National Chairman of the now-defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). Over the years, she contested for the FCT Senatorial seat under various political platforms, including the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

During discussions with OrderPaper Nigeria, she assured FCT residents of her commitment to quality representation through initiatives focusing on accessibility, SDG-centered projects, mass housing, and agro-processing businesses. Her dedication to addressing issues affecting her constituents is evident, as seen in her proactive response to concerns such as the operation of illegal garages and pick-up points within the Federal Capital City.

Senator Kingibe is recognized for her commitment to good governance, human rights, and women’s empowerment. She has been actively involved in legislative efforts to combat gender-based violence, promote women’s participation in politics, and advance women’s rights in Nigeria.

Her active participation during plenary sessions and contributions to national issues solidify her reputation as one of the female representatives making significant strides in Nigerian politics.

 

 

Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim

Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim, representing the Yobe State under the APC, chairs the Maritime Committee. Initially elected into the House of Representatives in 2007 to represent the Damaturu/Gunna/Fulani/Tarmuwa Federal Constituency, she has been a consistent voice for gender equality and women’s rights. Her political journey began in 2004 with her appointment as Commissioner for Transport and Energy by former Yobe State Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim, whom she later married in 2006. Khadijat has won several elections since then and has actively sponsored bills and motions aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and promoting their economic empowerment.

 

Zainab Gimba

Zainab Gimba, representing the Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge Constituency of Borno State under the APC, chairs the Steel Committee. A former lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, she has served in various governmental roles, including as a commissioner for poverty alleviation and youth empowerment. Zainab is passionate about youth empowerment, education, and women’s rights, and has sponsored bills focusing on maternal health, gender equality, and women’s challenges in Nigeria.

 

Mariam Onuoha

Mariam Onuoha, also known as Princess, represents the Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo constituency in Imo State under the APC and heads the TETFUND Committee. Emerging as a lawmaker after a rerun of the 2019 House of Representatives elections, Mariam is known for her commitment to women’s rights and social justice. Despite not pushing through with her ambition for the Speakership position, she has clinched a Committee Chairman position and has been instrumental in pushing for legislative reforms to address gender equality and socio-economic challenges facing women in Nigeria. Her vocal contributions during Committee sessions are highly commendable, and she is anticipated to make significant contributions to her constituents and Nigeria as a whole.

 

Kafilat Ogbara

Kafilat Ogbara, representing the Kosofe Federal Constituency in Lagos State under the APC, serves on the Women Affairs and Social Development Committee. Originally from Ogun State, she has a background in media, having been a presenter for the NTA program “Faces and Events” and the publisher of Today’s Prime newspaper. Despite being a first-term lawmaker, Kafilat is actively involved in legislative activities, particularly in advocating for the improvement of services provided by the Ministry of Women Affairs and the National Women Centre. She is dedicated to advancing women’s rights and economic empowerment, as evidenced by her sponsorship of a motion on the “Elimination of violence against women and girls” in November 2023. Her commitment to legislative activities promises even greater contributions in the future.

 

Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga

Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga, representing the Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo North Federal Constituency in Ogun State under the APC, currently serves as the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives. As the only female principal officer in the 10th National Assembly, she has demonstrated her dedication to improving the welfare of women and children through the sponsorship of bills focused on gender equality.

With her experience as the former chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development in the 9th Assembly, Adewunmi is expected to make meaningful contributions that will shape the 10th National Assembly.

On this International Women’s Day, it is crucial to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these outstanding female lawmakers in Nigeria, as their resilience, leadership, and dedication to public service serve as an inspiration for aspiring women leaders across the country. As these women continue to make waves in Nigerian politics, they contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society, fostering positive change for generations to come.

 

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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