Okonjo-Iweala wants more women in leadership positions

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By Chinenye Offor/Sumaila Ogbaje

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , Director – General World Trade Organisation ( WTO), has called for more women inclusion and participation in leadership roles.

Okonjo-Iweala made the call while addressing newsmen after a meeting with Duchess of Sussex Meghan and other women at the Nigerian Women in Leadership event, on Saturday in Abuja.

She pointed out that women had continued to face many challenges while trying to become leaders.

She added that during the deliberations, the women and the Duchess exchanged their views on various issues and also discussed the way forward in ensuring more women in leadership positions.

According to Okonjo-Iweala, it is imperative to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions both in the states and at the federal government levels.

She added that the issues discussed during the conversation with the duchess bordered on areas such as the challenges that women face in trying to become leaders and how they could overcome them.

Okonjo-Iweala further said that they also discussed how women could support themselves and also improve their position in the country.

“How do we improve the position of women in the country? We have a very low percentage of women in the National assembly. We have never had a woman governor, let alone something higher.

“That has to change but no one is going to hand it to the women. Women have to fight for it, but the men also have to support because you cannot have 50 per cent of your population not participating.

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“So, these were some of the issues we discussed today and we have to proffer solutions on how the women could deal with challenges of leadership.

“Most of the women in the room here are already leaders; they are not even struggling to get to the top as they are already there, ” she added.

Okonjo-Iweala, however, said that the highlight of the event was when the Duchess shared her experiences.

On Nigeria’s trade deficit, the WTO boss said there was need for the country to continue to diversify to add more value to the economy.

She said the country must do more to attract investment domestically, not just from outside but by the wealthy people in the country, while the government must also create the environment.

She added that this would persuade them to invest in certain production and in different kinds of industries to attract people from outside.

“If we are going to go into surplus, we also have to think of how to make use of the African continental free trade area because we have a large market here but 1.4 billion is an even larger market.

“Those are the things we have to do,” she added. ( NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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