Ganiat Olawore is an entrepreneur, politician, grassroots mobiliser and woman advocate who served under late Governor Abiola Ajimobi and is one of the young women trying to fight for equality for women in politics. In this interview with YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE, she speaks on discrimination against women, women in leadership and equal representation, amongst others.
Do you think there’s a restriction on women in the professional circle in Nigeria?
Of course, there is gender discrimination most especially in countries that are patriarchal in nature like Nigeria, although it isn’t as bad as it was in the last decade. It is rooted in our culture and until it is totally eradicated, restrictions on women will still be in existence
What’s your opinion about women in politics?
They are still greatly discriminated against; a larger percentage of women are stooges and mostly placed in positions of authority to provide support to their male counterparts.
Can women be good leaders?
Women are better leaders than their male counterparts. They are more focused, upright, determined, efficient and effective when it comes to disposing the affairs of any given organisation.
What are your thoughts on women having streams of income?
It is only proper in this our dynamic economy for women to have streams of incomes to be able to meet up with the daily needs. Women need to be proactive and financially independent.
How can women prove their worth to be seen beyond cheer leaders and as sex objects?
Women are mostly reduced to their sexuality or body parts in the minds of those looking at them, especially the males, and it becomes worse when such women go about half-nude. Women should learn to dress modestly and appreciate the fact that their capacity and mental understanding of issues would drive them more to achieving their goals than their body.
Should marital status be a criterion for measuring women’s success?
Absolutely No; not everyone would get married; know this and have peace. A woman’s marital status shouldn’t be anywhere near the yardstick of measuring her success in life. Her life, participation, development and capacity should be the major concern
What is your view on the 35 percent affirmative action?
The best that can happen to women across the globe is equal representation, in my opinion, the 35 percent is still gender discrimination. Rather, equal participation and representation should be embraced.
How do you stand on your principles and identify women with similar purpose to work with?
By being determined to follow my dream and work at it; do what I love and not allowing anything to deprive me of my goals and identifying with women who have similar values and goals through interaction of purpose.
How can women stand up to bullies?
By avoiding association with bullies at all cost.
Are women supporting women?
Yes, in recent times, women are seen to be supporting one another compared to what we had in the last decades.