The result of the poll released on Tuesday in Abuja said that 91 percent of adult Nigerians acknowledged that “there is a huge gap in gender equality, especially in political representation, mainly due to cultural norms and religious beliefs (29 percent)”.
Interestingly, the poll results also revealed that majority of Nigerians (85 percent) believe that women make great leaders and this assertion cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-groups.
It noted that these findings may have been influenced by visible outstanding success stories of some past and present female leaders in Nigeria and the world at large.
For instance, it listed Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (former Minister of Finance in Nigeria and currently one of the 28-member Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – GAVI), Amina J. Mohammed (Former Minister of Environment in Nigeria and the present Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations), Mo Abudu (renowned media mogul and founder of EbonyLife TV) and Stella Adadevoh (the doctor, who died putting her life on the line to save Nigerians from Ebola epidemic) amongst other great Nigerian women have made impact with their leadership qualities over the years.
According to the report, given this positive perception of Nigerians on Women’s leadership capabilities, a critical issue of concern would be whether this translates into the much desired behavioural change and cultural shift which would shape a more positive narrative for gender equality in Nigeria.
“Nonetheless, gender equality change agents can capitalise on this positive stance as a soft landing for acceptance of change initiatives.
“While these change agents are already working hard towards achieving gender equality in Nigeria and around the world, with some milestones being achieved; the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report revealed that it will take about 217 years before the global gender parity is achieved,” the report said.
The key findings from the International Women’s Day Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week commencing March 5th, 2018, stressed the need for more progressive synergised long-term strategies by stakeholders to tackle the barriers to equality, especially those centred on culture and religion.