Hon Mojisolaoluwa Alli-Macaulay, the lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency I in the Lagos State House of Assembly, has emphasised the need for women to be given their pride of place as catalysts for a developed nation.
Alli-Macaulay made this assertion in her office on Monday, while reflecting on the challenges being faced by women in developing countries to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
The lawmaker stated that if given the opportunity, women can help make the country work again, citing examples of what is happening in developed countries, where women have been given opportunity to serve as leaders in high places.
According to her, women are incubators of success and it is high time government policies were tailored towards favouring women.
“It is a long journey and we are getting close by the day. As a matter of fact, we are already there, it is just that in Africa, we still deny women their rights, but in some other parts of the world women participate in the formation of economic policies.
“You see women taking charge in the economies of the world and I make bold to say our own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one of them. She is the one who will be driving the world trade organisation, pushing forward and bringing to bare the best of her negotiation prowess to negotiate for world trade barter deals across the divides all over the world in almost 200 countries on the planet earth.
“We have so many women who actually lead in commerce. We have women who are Prime Ministers and those who are actually Presidents. We have women who are taking charge of powerful positions but I know that very soon in Africa we will come to terms with the fact that women have much roles to play on development.
“Once they latch on it they will drive it and we will get to Eldorado. I know that for sure,” she said.
Speaking on why the harsh political weather takes worse toll on women, the female lawmaker stated that the problem are in two phases, “the first part is our political policies that are undermining participation of women in politics and the other part of it is the societal trajectory that dissuades or discourages women from actually joining politics.
“The dichotomy is such that one part is the system and the other part is the social economic factor that dissuades women from joining politics.
“A lot of men know what they do to women who are politicians therefore they will not encourage their wives to join this same politics.
“Then they will say stay there, go to the other room, take care of your children and others because they know what they do to brave women who are in politics who survived the tide in politics.
“This same set of men are those who actually drive our political parties, who will not come up with policies that will entice women to come and join politics.
“All you see women do is to dance at campaign rallies and then they end up becoming women leaders of political parties at the ward level or local governments level and it ends there.
“So how can we have more women in the House of Assembly with all these dichotomies?
“It is a war and I know we will win. What I know is that the narrative has changed. In recent past, women used to be their own major antagonists. I hope to see more women in politics soon.
“Women have the largest percentage of people who are vulnerable on planet earth, they go through a lot. Today, we stand with our heads high up, shoulders high, our red lipstick on, our hair brushed to give ourselves a path on the back for being brave, for being confident, for being persevering, for our hard work and also for marching on.
“It is also to give a beacon of hope to women that it can only get better,” Alli-Macaulay said.
The lawmaker tasked women to be brave and to take charge, saying that no man finds it appropriate to be led by a woman and that the tendency to want to bring the woman down by all means possible is high.
“This played out recently as I was blackmailed and maligned on the social media by some unscrupulous elements, who see my position as too intimidating for them as a female legislator and leader of the constituency,” she said.
The lawmaker commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for accommodating more women in his cabinet than men.
She added that the 2021 budget is that of hope, saying that it clearly affords education a fair share, takes care of vulnerable people through adult education scheme targeting more scope of coverage, the girl child, and that out of school children and lots more are adequately taken care of.
“However we have a lot of women going through education, but they are not just enough. I am educated, a lot more women are too, I have two bachelor degrees and presently I’m a student of law. Women are trailblazers, whatever we set our hands to do we always try to achieve, we are incubators of success.
“If you give us spermatozoa, we give you babies who are future assets to the family, they become our rewards for hard work as parents. You give us money, we make investment for the family,” she said.
She dedicated the day to the memory of her late mother, who she said has been her role model and to all women, who she said are making waves in the world.
The lawmaker gave examples of Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States of America, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who she described as an amazon of enviable quality, a commissioner in Lagos State, Hon. Lola Akande, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and herself “for being able to pull through in spite of all odds.”
Alli-Macaulay thanked her husband, Hon. Jonathan Inegbese Macaulay, who she said has been supportive of her in her political foray since 2010, while counselling her counterparts to always seek the blessings of their spouses before venturing into partisan politics.
“The blessings of your husband, spouse or partner as a female lawmaker is paramount.
“The experience of a female lawmaker is a bitter leaf experience and what it narrates is that while you are going through these myriad of challenges you will laugh at the end of the journey because the world will still humbly show their respect for you. We have a lot of female lawmakers who are dogged fighters and I am one of them,” she said.