Give Women “political muscle” for National Development: Nigerian Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama with some parishioners of St. Charles Lwanga Parish of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

For Nigerian women to be active in national matters including the development of the nation, they need to be strengthened politically alongside receiving quality education, a Catholic Archbishop in the West African country has said.

In his Sunday, December 5 homily at St. Charles Lwanga Parish of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama said that "men must allow a good percentage of political offices to the women.”

Archbishop Kaigama said that dominance of the "masculine culture" was locking women out of political and other leadership positions.

“The women must be given political muscle and quality education for both their personal and national development,” Archbishop Kaigama said December 5 on the occasion of the dedication of the St. Charles Lwanga Parish church.

Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja


The Nigerian Archbishop added, “Women are our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends; they are to be loved not used or abused. We must encourage and support them to acquire good education and harness their capacities and abilities to contribute their quota towards societal growth and development.”

Archbishop Kaigama said that women must be given an opportunity to participate fully in the realization of the vision and dreams of the West African country.

“Women must be given a chance to be part of the vision and dreams of our nation. In other words, there should be more involvement and participation of women in our political, economic and social life,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese said.

He added, “From empirical evidence, we know in the Church that women are very strong pillars. The Catholic Women Organization (CWO), … and teenage girls have demonstrated through the years that they are passionate, committed, competent, ever available and willing agents of positive change.”

Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

More in Africa

The Nigerian Archbishop expressed confidence that women can bring change in the governance of the country if given a chance to lead.

“I am confident that Nigerian women given more space in the national scheme of things will bring new perspectives to governance, and perhaps change the narrative of our country, often dancing dangerously on the precipice,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He further said that the government should consider involving faith-based organizations when plans and policies are made on incorporating women in matters of social growth and development.

Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

The Catholic Archbishop went on to express the readiness of the Justice, Peace and Development (JDPC) and Education Commissions of the Catholic Bishops in the country to complement the government effort in empowering women if called upon.


Speaking on the ongoing 16 days of activism campaign that began November 25 under the theme, “End Violence Against Women Now”, Archbishop Kaigama said that the current world is dominated with “terrible vices” which he said are not taken seriously.

“Most violence today which take different forms such as domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, rape, child marriage and many others are real, but sadly, are overlooked or inadequately reported and addressed,” he said. 

Recalling the Chibok girls kidnapping and  other instances of kidnapping of women in Africa’s most populous country, the Archbishop said that his Metropolitan See is in solidarity with the world in the fight against injustice and gender based violence that targets women and young girls.

Among those present during the Holy Mass during which the Archbishop called for women inclusion in the matters of national development was the Federal Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen.

The Archbishop called upon the people of God in the West African country to engage in “real preparation” in advent, which he said has to do with “our spiritual disposition.”

(Story continues below)

Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

“It is the kind of preparation that is comprehensive and uncompromising, moving us to examine our conscience and seek inner cleansing through the sacrament of reconciliation,” he said, and added, “Thus, we level the hills of pride and other sinful habits that pose a threat to our spiritual journey towards God.”

He further called upon Nigerians to embrace the life of simplicity and conversion, which he said entails complete turnaround from “evil ways to a new and better life.”

“John the Baptist summons us today to make conscious efforts to level the mountain of pride and other terrible vices; to make straight the rough roads of selfishness and depravity and to fill in the valley of spiritual laxity and indifference,” Archbishop Kaigama said December 5.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.