International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
In honour of this day, ZODML recognises some powerful women who have made economic, political and social achievements in our society and in the fabric of our culture.
Ladi Dosei Kwali was the pioneer of modern pottery in Nigeria. She is the first and only Nigerian woman to appear on a currency note. She is depicted on the back of the N20 note.
Margaret Ekpo was a Nigerian women's rights activist, social mobiliser, a pioneering politician during the country’s First Republic and a leading member of a group of female Nigerian activists who rallied women beyond the borders of ethnic solidarity. She is the first female political activist in Nigeria.
Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa was a Nigerian writer, teacher and administrator, as well as a forerunner of a generation of African women writers best-known for broaching the topics of African life and traditions from a woman’s viewpoint. With Efuru, Nwapa became Africa’s first internationally published female novelist in the English language and the first female writer in Nigeria
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a teacher, political campaigner, women's rights activist, traditional aristocrat and founder of the Nigerian Women’s Union. She was one of the most prominent leaders of her generation and was the mother of Afrobeat musician and political activist Fela Kuti. She is the first female to drive motor car in Nigeria.
Virginia Etiaba is a native of Umudim Nnewi, in the Nnewi North Local Council of Anambra State. She is the first female governor in Nigeria's history who ruled from November 2006 to February 2007.
Grace Alele Williams is the first female vice chancellor in Nigeria and one of the first Nigerian women to obtain a PhD in Mathematics. She served as a Vice chancellor at University of Benin.
Chinyere Onyenaucheya now captain Chinyere Kalu is first female pilot in Nigeria as well as the first female commercial pilot in Nigeria. She currently heads the flying school at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
Kofo Ademola, Nigerian educationist and writer the first black female first Nigerian woman to receive an undergraduate degree from Oxford University.
Sandra Aguebor-Ekperuoh of Edo State is the first female mechanic in Nigeria. She is the founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative of Nigeria; a non-profit organization set up to train and empower young ladies in auto-mechanic.
Agbani Darego of Rivers State is a model and beauty queen. She is the first female in Nigeria to win Miss World.
Aralola Olamuyiwa popularly known as Ara is an entertainer, singer, drummer and dancer who started drumming at age 5. She has performed before the Queen of England, recorded on Stevie Wonder's last album tiltled " A time to Love" performed in Canada, UK, and over 5 states in the USA and Africa. Ara is the first female drummer in Nigeria.
Aloma Mariam Mukhtar is a Nigerian jurist and former Chief Justice of Nigeria who served from July 2012 to November 2014. On July 13th 2012, Aloma Muktar became the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Which other pioneering female would you like to celebrate? Share with us in the comment section!