Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Socio Development was created consequent upon the response to the United Nations
agreement to establish Institutional Mechanism for the advancement of Women and Women matters. It is a product of
efforts established through a decree in 1989 giving rise to the National Commission for Women. This, however, was the
initiative of the wife of the then heads of state (Dr) Mrs. Maryam Babangida of blessed memory.
The Commission though as a Government Institution, its activities were ad hoc with no specific and adequate budgetary
allocation. The Wife of the Head of State then dictated the pace of activities in the Commission with the creation of
her Better Life Programme for Rural Women.
In 1995, the Commission for Women was upgraded to a full-fledged Ministry of Women Affairs and Socio Development,
which meant that Nigeria has achieved one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action.
The activities of the Ministry, again largely influenced by the dictates of the Wife of the Head of State at that
time, Mrs. Maryam Sani Abacha who came up with her Pet Project, the Family Support and Economic Advancement Programme.
Indeed, like the Women Commission, resource allocation in the form of budgetary provision was very meagre, barely
enough to pay the Salary of Staff.
Intervention by the First Lady’s Programmes were basically welfarist in nature, targeting women for their immediate
needs without tackling the age-long problem of lack of integration of gender awareness and competence into mainstream
development planning. This arrangement brought a lot of institutionally credibility gap, which negatively affected the
Ministry in Many ways. For instance, when the Commission was upgraded to a Ministry status, it was not really at par
with other Ministries and therefore lacing the requisite institutional identity and resource base. Other problems were
lack of adequate budget allocations and a recognized technical cadre. The net effect of this credibility gap has been
that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is not viewed as an equal Government outfit with other
Ministries making its gender mainstreaming work even more difficult to pursue.
In line with Government’s repositioning and reform agenda for better service delivery in the country; the Ministry of
Women Affairs and Social Development came up to a clearer vision and mission statements as follows:
"To help build a Nigerian Society that guarantees equal access to Social, Economic and health creation opportunities to
all, irrespective of gender, places premium on protection of the child, the aged and persons with disabilities, focuses
attention of key operators in both private and public sectors on mainstreaming the concerns of these groups of people in
national development process".
"To serve as the national vehicle to bring about speedy and healthy development of Nigerian Women, Children, the
Social disadvantaged and physically challenged, and the mainstreaming of their rights and privileges in national