A number of women have demonstrated that reaching the top of one’s profession is not just a male domain. Women can accomplish their goals with ambition and boldness just like anyone else.

The number of accomplished women in STEM fields like engineering, medicine, and science is astounding today. Gender barriers no longer exist in the global arena. Nigerian women are breaking through the glass ceiling every day in sports and global economics, according to Daily Sun.

The female gender is outperforming their male counterparts in Nigerian politics in terms of both coordination and money.

Some women have actually conducted more deserving campaigns than men for elective office.

But there are still cultural and natural barriers preventing women from moving up the ladder to success.

their objectives, but we have witnessed women overcoming these obstacles. All it takes for a woman to succeed is taking on responsibility and questioning the status quo.

Aside from Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who has paved the way for women to succeed and inspired them to do so while being recognised as one of Forbes 100 women in 2023, many other women in various fields have made history, triumphed, and broken free from the conventional barriers that had previously prevented them.

We present to you a list of women who have influenced 2023 events and left their mark on history.

Oshoala Asisat

Nigerian professional female Asisat Lamina Oshoala, 29, is a rising star in the field.

With her goal-scoring ability on the pitch, she has cemented her place in history and achieved great career success. For the sixth time in a row, Oshoala, a striker for both the Nigerian women’s national team and FC Barcelona, a team in Spanish Liga F, was named African Women’s Player of the Year in 2023. Her remarkable accomplishments secured her a spot on Forbes Africa Under 30 in 2020. She has a $3 million net worth.

The Barcelona player maintained her dominance in women’s basketball on the continent when she was named the 2023 CAF Women’s Player of the Year at the ceremony held in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

The award was given to Oshoala in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2022, and she defeated Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa defeated Barbara Banda of Zambia to win the most recent award, solidifying her place in the women’s game on the continent.

Chiamaka Nnadozie

When it comes to the round leather game, Chiamaka Nnadozie is another formidable female player, but achieving her current status required a great deal of sacrifice. It is well known that she is determined to break the gender norms, even among her own family. Goalkeeper Nnadozie has achieved great success in her football career and gained worldwide fame, particularly after she saved a penalty kick to help Paris FC defeat Real Madrid and spark the French team’s first victory in Group D. She was recognised as Africa’s top custodian

during the CAF Awards.

The best way to characterise the Super Falcons of Nigeria custodian is as a shot-blocker. In addition to selecting other outstanding nominations slots at the prestigious prize during the award ceremony in Marrakech, she is the best goalkeeper in the CAF and once again won the Women Goalkeeper of the Year at the 2023 CAF Award in Morocco.

Nnadozie, who was born in 2000, most stood out for her valiant on-field performances in the Women’s World Cup match against Olympic champions Canada thanks to her outstanding saving skills.

Amusan Tobi

Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, a 26-year-old track and field athlete from Nigeria, is a Commonwealth and African champion in addition to holding the current world record in the 100-meter hurdles.

She was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, and set a world record when she won the 2022 World Championships 100m hurdles gold, setting the current world record of 12.12 seconds (+0.9m/s) in the semi-final, followed up by a 12.06 seconds run.

She coasted home with several laurels, including the back-to-back Commonwealth and African titles in 2018 and 2022 in the 100m hurdles. She is also a two-time African Games champion in the event. The 5ft sprinter athlete currently with Buka Tigers club also the current Diamond League champion in the 100 metres hurdles having won the final in 12.33 seconds (+1.8m/s) achieving a winning streak in 2021, 2022 and 2023. In 2015, Amusan also won gold in the 100m hurdles at the African Junior Championships and the same year, as an 18-year-old, securing her first title at the African Games. In 2021, Amusan became the first Nigerian athlete to win a Diamond League title as she took the 100m hurdles trophy, breaking the then-African record held by Glory Alozie in the process. She retained her title in 2022 and 2023.

Patricia Obila (Deputy Governor, Ebonyi)

Mrs. Patricia Obila recorded political strides with her nomination as running mate to the governor, Hon. Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru of Ebonyi state in the last election. She was also a two-term Vice Chairman of Afikpo North LGA of the state. She contested under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

An astute administrator, Obila, 48, has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Lagos.

Engr. Noimot Salako Oyedele (Deputy Governor, Ogun)

Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele is the present Deputy Governor of Ogun State. She was the only female deputy governor in the South West before last year’s election leading to the emergence of Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, where Mrs. Christianah Afuye became his deputy, too.

She became the third female deputy governor of the state following the election of Governor Dapo Abiodun in 2019. She was re-nominated and won the second term election with Abiodun.

Salako-Oyedele, born in 1967 to the family of Late Professor Lateef Salako, in Ado Odo, Ota Local Government of Ogun State is an engineer of repute with over three decades of experience. She who holds a Masters’ degree in Public Health Engineering from the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos is on the board of several companies in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Glenwood Property Development Company Limited.

Dr. Ngozi Nma Odu (Deputy Governor, Rivers)

Dr. Ngozi Nma Odu is the first and only female deputy governor in the South West. Dr. Odu is a Professor of Food and Public Health Microbiology at the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt. Professor Odu had also served the University of Port Harcourt both as a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology and as the first Acting Executive Director of the University of Port Harcourt Foundation. She is also a visiting professor to the Rivers State University.

She rose through the ranks in the Rivers state Ministry of Health to the post of permanent secretary, a post she held for six and half years (1999 – 2006), making her the longest serving Permanent Secretary in that Ministry. Having reviewed some chapters of the 2004 (2nd Edition) of the National Health Policy of Nigeria, she co-reviewed the 2004 – 2007 Health Sector Reform Programme of the FMOH. She also appraised the Public Private Partnership (PPP) implementation on the health sector in Akwa Ibom State in 2005. She produced the draft State Strategic Health Development Plan (SSHDP) for Bayelsa State in 2009 as a consultant to the FMOH. She has served as a consultant to SPDC, TOTAL, NLNG and UNDP.

Senator Akon Eyakenyi (Deputy Governor, Akwa Ibom)

Dr. Akon Etim Eyakenyi is the first female to be democratically elected deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State under the platform of the PDP. Eyakenyi, an indigene of Iquita in Oron Local Government Area is the Senator representing Akwa Ibom South in the National Assembly and doubles as the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Education. She started her political career in 2000, as Commissioner for Industry, Commerce and Tourism in Obong Victor Attah’s tenure. In 2013, she was appointed Chairperson, Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board, by former Governor Godswill Akpabio, and then as Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in 2014 during the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan.

In June 2015, Dr. Eyakenyi was appointed into the Technical Committee of the Ibaka Deep Seaport, and in October 2016, as Chairman, Governing Council, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua. She is married to Engr. Etim Eyakenyi

Josephine Piyo (Deputy Governor Plateau)

Despite the fact that some prominent female politicians like Mrs. Pallen Tallen had created inroads and opened up possibilities for women to participate in politics in Plateau state, the cultural bottlenecks which hinders women’s growth abound. Mrs. Josephine Piyo didn’t just become the deputy governor of Plateau State on a platter of gold. It came out of determination, commitment and hard work. She contested on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) alongside Governor Caleb Mutfwang. Piyo, a grassroots politician and one time chairperson of Riyom Local Government Area of the state, was also a former lawmaker in the Plateau State House of Assembly. She is a health care worker and had served as a public administrator before her foray into politics.

Dr Hadiza Balarabe Sabuwa (Deputy Governor Kaduna)

Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe broke traditional barriers and gender parity in Northern Nigeria to become the first female deputy governor of Kaduna state. She is an astute politician and trained medical doctor. She is the first elected female deputy governor of the state and was elected during the 2019 Governorship Election alongside her principal Governor El’Rufia, under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.

Born into the family of Alhaji Abubakar Balarabe in Sanga Local Government Area of the state, Hadiza attended Girls College Soba for her secondary education, and was admitted into the University of Maiduguri where she studied medicine. She graduated with MBBS in 1986. She also served as the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency before she became the deputy governor to Nasir El-rufai in 2018.

Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed

Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, popularly known as Binani is a politician of repute. She too, like other female political figures went far beyond boundaries by competing side by side her male contemporaries in the political space. Apart from being the only female senator from Northern Nigeria in the 9th National Assembly having represented Adamawa Central from 2019 to 2023, Binani’s popularity was further tested in a keen contest for the position of Governor of Adamawa state in the 2023 general elections. In a fierce competition during the primary elections, she came head on with some strong political forces where she scaled through.

Not resting on her oars and not minding the power of incumbency, she contested against the incumbent Governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri, in the 2023 general election. Binani who has sponsored so many bills in the house is married to Professor Ahmed Modibbo. She came into politics in 2011

Iman Sulaiman-Ibrahim

Iman Sulaiman-Ibrahim has made a mark on a pathway where even most men are even afraid to tread on and earn a strong reputation for excellence in professionalism by hard work and will to succeed. She is the first female Minister of Police Affairs and presently serves as Honourable Federal Commissioner HFC/CEO for the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), where she initiated the “Project 5s” program, a robust intervention to tackle critical issues facing persons of concern in Nigeria.

She is an expert in conflict management, peace-building and national security issues

Armed with a B.sc in Sociology from the University of Abuja, at just 21, she already knew how best to create her own narrative in her career path. Today, her determination to break the existing traditional barriers against women, especially in Northern Nigeria remains resolute. Imaan is the Co-Founder/President of The Beehive Initiative, which is now the BumbleeBee Civic Initiative, a platform focused on nurturing and mentoring politically inclined women and creating grassroots civic awareness.

She was appointed DG of The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, where she contributed immensely to the plights of trafficked persons and worked assiduously towards strengthening the national response to addressing irregular migration.

Imaan is an award-winning politician, strategist, and country expert in national security, conflict management, human capital development, and peacebuilding.


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