Does the Gender of Ministers Matter? A Critical Analysis of the Appointment and Performance of Women Ministers under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration in Nigeria, 2011-2015

Olu Awofeso, Akinola Akinlolu E.


In a presidential system of government, the executive arm is the highest organ of policy formulation and implementation. This, to a large extent, is complemented by the oversight and law making functions of the legislature for a functional governance. In addition to the President and the Vice President who are often elected, several appointees of the President make up the executive council, and are responsible to the President who takes stock of their performance and determine their continued relevance in office. Researches on gender studies often highlight the roles of these appointees, especially in respect to parity issues and the need for equal representation. Surprisingly, however, scholarly works on gender and politics in Nigeria often fails to study the activities of women ministers and their impact on policy. The Goodluck Jonathan administration is credited for mobilizing the highest proportion of women into ministerial positions since the dawn of the Fourth Republic. It then becomes imperative to ask if the performance of the women ministers, considering the influence they wield under the regime, portrays them as acting in the interest of women in the country. Drawing largely on secondary data. The study seeks to answer this question by profiling the women appointees and investigating the factors that influenced the unprecedented increase in the number of women ministers under President Jonathan’s administration, with a view to assessing their impact on policy making especially with regard to women issues.

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