I was going to write on this topic a few years ago and decided to hold off. But I always come back to this issue. The question is: Is there gender equality in Nigeria? Then there are sub questions: How does Nigeria compare to other countries? Are Nigerian women hit by that "glass ceiling" known to exists in America? If you are looking to me to quote some fantastic report and more, sorry, I am writing this from my personal observations and knowledge, maybe if any of you out there have done a study, they please let us know. Now from what I see in Nigeria, it appears to me that when it comes to women's issues and womens rights we have done pretty well, let me be clear, we can do much much more, but in many ways I think Nigeria is more gender equal that even the United States! And it is more gender equal that we may thing it is. Tough we must consider that in certain parts of Nigeria, like Northern Nigeria, women are still very much repressed. In Nigeria, governments over the years have made it a point to ensure that its female population have the same opportunities the male population have. The major problem I see that has been a hindrance to the female population breaking the glass ceiling in all areas are by and large the traditional values that exist in many societies in Nigeria. Many traditional cultures still put the woman in the tradtional homemaker role and baby factory role, hence women are still shut out from many positions. But having said that, let me come back to what I mean by Nigeria has done quite a bit to promote gender equality. Consider the following: 1. Government years ago, established two Secondary School systems in Nigeria: The Federal Government Colleges (FGC's) and the Federal Government Girls Colleges (FGGC's). I would argue, without any statistics, that a great percentage of the successful women in government and the corporate world today are products of FGGC's. 2. Still on the issues of FGGC's you should consider that the FGC's were also coed, so this means that Nigerian girls had two opportunities at a good education in their states either at an FGC or an FGGC. 3. If you look around in Nigeria, women are very prominent in ALL positions, not just positions assumed where women can play a role like say child care, women affairs et al. Consider the following powerful women: Ngozi Iweala, Ex Minister of Finaince, Cecilia Ibru Ex Ocieanic Bank Chairwoman, Otunba Bola Kuforiji Olubi: Ex UBA CEO and Minister. Of course Madam Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti civil rights activist and of course the mother to 3 notable Nigerians, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, and of course Fela Kuti! and grandmother to Femi Kuti!! Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, Ex VC University of Benin and Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, Supreme court Justice and many many more. See the link below for a few more notable Nigerian women: http://www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2002/05/12/20020512pol02.html 4.When you look around, in Nigeria it does appear that women have broken almost all the glass ceilings out there. The current EFCC head is a woman, so was the head of the Stock exchange. We have had several notable female ministers and we have had and currently do have female deputy governors. A woman has been elected speaker of the house, though removed in disgrace. Like the United States, the glass ceiling exists at the highest office in the land, and I believe we are yet to see a Female state governor. So the ceiling does exist. But the question still remains, do the achievements of those distinguished women really indicate that Nigeria is gender equal? If not, where is Nigeria as regards gender equality? Do the women in Nigeria get the same pay scale as their male counterparts? Is the female single parent no longer a pariah in Nigeria? How about the Northern issue of child marriages? The bottom line is women today in Nigeria, do have the freedom to be whatever they want, go wherever they want and set whatever goal they desire (Save for that glass ceiling of president). They have the tools and opportunities to success. Or am I being myopic in this conclusion? It appears it is not longer strange to apply for a job in Nigeria and find your boss being a woman, or is it? It appears to me that Nigeria has made significant strides in Gender equality, much more that many of our counterpart nations, and maybe in at par with some Western countries. But there are still significant drawbacks. So what is you opinion on gender equality in Nigeria? And who are the notable successful Nigeria woman you know. By the way going back in history we must not forget women like Queen Amina of Zaria, Emotan of Benin and Moremi of Ife.