Under the Microscope: The Female Affairs Ministry
The Female Affairs Ministry is one that had high expectations to meet in this tenure. Considering the Ministry was almost scrapped for being “redundant”, Miss Gbemisola Oderemi, who was making her debut into student politics, had a lot of work to do to assure Brownites, or at least, Female Brownites, that they were right to keep the Ministry. At the Manifesto Night, Miss Oderemi promised Female Brownites Maintenance and Sanitation, Welfare, Enlightenment, and Empowerment.
It is pertinent at this point to commend the Female Affairs Ministry for the plans they have been able to bring to fruition. Although there are plans that have still not seen the light of day, I should mention that they have indeed fulfilled at least one plan under each category that was promised.
Let’s start with Maintenance and Sanitation. There was a talk on Menstrual Hygeine as promised, to discuss the recurring problem of improper disposal of sanitary pads and the consequent clogging of toilets in the Female Blocks of the Alexander Brown Hall. The discussion held on the Female Brownites’ WhatsApp group and attendees commented that it was quite educative. There were also freebies won at the end of the discussion. However, Miss Oderemi also promised to work with the Health and Sanitation Minister to “change the refuse bins to properly covered ones and place them in strategic positions as this would reduce littering and the attraction of flies and pests”. It has been 150 days into the tenure and we are yet to see any covered bins.
With regards to Welfare, one of the highlights of this tenure for Female Brownites would perhaps be the Female Brownites’ WhatsApp group, which was an exclusive group where they could discuss freely about “Female issues”. Indeed, the group was created and the first 2 months saw interactive discussions on Menstrual Hygeine and Hair Care. However, in recent times, the group may have been converted to solely an advertisement hub, as scrolling through the group would have you reading one Broadcast Message after the other, the discussions on female issues, long forgotten. However, we should perhaps not complain too much as at least, the group was created as promised.
Next in her plans was Enlightenment. The Female Affairs Ministry collaborated with the Finance Minister to organise the Financial Literacy Program this year. And although the online campaigns for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year left a lot to be desired, the Ministry provided Pink Ribbons and organized an Awareness Walk to Oje Market. However, there is one promise under this category that seems to have been abandoned: “Releasing infographics at regular intervals to enlighten female Brownites on specific issues peculiar to them…” Although, the Ministry released a few infographics at the start of the tenure, it has been months since we last saw one. We cannot say for certain if the infographics got lost in transmission at a point, or if the Ministry ran out of content, but we do know that Female Brownites have not been seeing the promised infographics, much less seen them at regular intervals.
Finally, female Brownites were promised Empowerment. Miss Oderemi and her team have fufilled her promises to organize the first Ladies’ Night, a defense class for Female Brownites, and ensuring the continuity of the female affairs blog. It would however appear that by “ensuring the continuity” of the female Affairs blog, she had meant releasing only two articles on the blog. So while she did continue the blog posts, she did not do it for long. It is also said that unlike in previous administrations, the blog posts from the Female Affairs Ministry may not have reached most Brownites, particularly male Brownites. We are not sure if this is because the Female Affairs Ministry saw a need to make the posts “exclusive” to female Brownites. Regardless, female Brownites still have promises like the ABH Business Exposition Program, and a competition on innovative business ideas whose winner would be given startup funds, to look forward to.
Generally speaking, the Female Affairs Minister has fulfilled a number of her campaign promises and may have a tendency to want to rest on her oars. But I believe Brownites expect that the initial momentum would not be lost (or at least can be resurrected), and the Ministry ends the tenure on a high note, having fulfilled their promises to female Brownites.