According to the Global Gender Gap Report, 2018, Nigeria ranked 133rd out of 149 countries in closing the gender gap. Philanthropist, entrepreneur, and founder of Women in Successful Careers, Amina Oyagbola believes that Nigeria must make significant efforts to close the gender gap, sharing her insight on how this goal can be attained.
The Global Gender Gap Report
The report, which was released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), analyzed gender-based disparities in key areas such as economic participation and opportunity (Nigeria: 79), educational attainment (Nigeria: 140), health and survival (Nigeria: 132), and political empowerment (Nigeria: 139).
As noted in the Report: “Nigeria continues last year’s downward trend, falling several ranks this year. While this is partially due to newly available data revealing a larger-than-before gender gap among legislators, senior officials and managers, the country also sees some reversal of past progress on Educational Attainment and in healthy life expectancy”.
Overall, the three highest-ranking nations in Sub-Saharan Africa were Rwanda (6), followed by Namibia (10) and South Africa (19). Conversely, the three lowest-ranking nations were Mali (143), Democratic Republic of Congo (144), and Chad (145). Internationally, Iceland was ranked number one, with Yemen finishing last.
Nigeria’s Gender Gap
Amina Oyagbola explains that even though women comprise nearly half of the Nigeria’s total population, there is a massive systemic lack of opportunities that enable women to realize their potential. In order to combat this lack of opportunities Nigeria must adapt to provide women with the opportunity to make a high-impact contribution to the country’s economic development and growth.
Amina Oyagbola adds that literacy, and enrollment in primary, secondary and tertiary education remain major obstacles in Nigeria that require immediate attention. The big picture is about building a stronger nation; ensuring that the children of tomorrow have the opportunities, resources, and support they need to achieve their personal and professional potential.
To change this trend and start closing the gender gap, Amina Oyagbola and her colleagues at WISCAR have spearheaded several game-changing programs, strategies and campaigns to empower entry-level and mid-level women professionals. The organization’s mentoring program WIN-with-WISCAR has trained more than 300 women, and over 6,000 women and men have been positively impacted through conferences and workshops.
Furthermore, in 2017 WISCAR launched its massively popular #IAMAPOWERWOMAN social media campaign, which encourages successful female professionals to tell their stories in an effort to inspire those who dream of shattering the glass ceiling and making a contribution at the highest levels of the corporate world and public sector.