Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for the involvement of women in decision making at higher levels if Nigeria.

Obasanjo made the call in Lagos on Thursday at the 14th annual lecture of the Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WimBiz).

The former President, who spoke on “Press for Progress: Women, Politics and Nation Building” stressed the need for women to play greater roles.

He said: “Human beings are the same, men and women. We need fair treatment of women. Gender inequality has cost Africa so much.

He noted that Nigerian women had played a great role in the development of the nation since the pre-colonial era and should be given equal chance to contribute their talents and potentials as leaders.

“Negotiate as 2019 election is coming, but the table is turned against you. In 2019 election, women must have a place of honour.

“You should all say enough is enough. Women, as the majority, must be reckoned with in the overriding interest of the general good of our people.

“The society must correct the impression that it is only women who have nothing to do or have been failing other endeavours that go into politics.

“A way to do this is to ensure that successful women who occupy top cadres in the society should join politics so as to give stiffer competition to the male counterpart. ‘We must discriminate positively in favour of women, and women themselves must know how to use other women for their good in politics.

“The reason for the positive discrimination is not because women are inferior, but while they have what it takes to succeed in politics, the men folk have continued to hold them back. “And so, the positive discrimination will solve such problem,” he said.

Obasanjo encouraged women who desire to go into politics to be strong. He emphasised that Nigeria had intelligent women that could transform the nation.

The former President said that such women must be sought and encouraged to get involved.

"Nigerian women have the intellect and the potential to make the nation great. They have demonstrated this through the vital contributions they have made at some point in our history as pioneers of change and development."

“Some people say when a woman goes into politics, she becomes a woman of easy virtue. Doing politics does not make you a woman of easy virtue. We have to do something about this perception”.

“It is my firm belief that an equal participation of our men and women in the development of our nation will certainly help in bringing about the desired change in our society, " he added.

The WIMBIZ Annual Lecture series is a public forum that attracts over 500 women. It is designed to discuss topical issues that affect women, their role in nation building while assessing their personal and business development.