In one of her recent women campaign rally in Kogi State, Nigeria's first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan told the crowd that her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan cabinet is made up of 70% women.
An investigation by Africacheck.org reveals that the the first lady's information was totally wrong.
She said at the rally, “Jonathan looked at us and said, women, I am giving you the position of the chief justice of this country. [Finance minister] Okonjo-Iweala is a woman, [petroleum resources minister] Diezani is a woman. Seventy percent of his cabinet is women”.
In 2011 the Jonathan administration's cabinet had women occupying about 33% of the positions. This was more than the 30% reserved for women under the affirmative action guidelines contained in the National Policy of Women that was adopted in 2000. However, since then, the number of women in top government positions has dropped.
In January this year, only seven out of Nigeria’s 29 cabinet ministers were women, representing slightly fewer than a quarter.The recent cabinet reshuffle however brought in two new female ministers, taking their share to 31%.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that Nigeria’s efforts at increasing the proportion of women in politics do not rank highly in Africa compared to Cape Verde who has the highest number of women in ministerial positions on the continent, with nine out of 17 ministers (53%). The rest are: