Home National Assembly NIGERIA’S 1ST FEMALE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER

NIGERIA’S 1ST FEMALE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER

Chief Wuraola Adepeju Esan (1909–1985) was a Nigerian politician, feminist, and teacher. By serving as the 10th Iyalode of Ibadan, she combined her political ambitions with those of a traditional noblewoman.

Wuraola Adepeju Esan was born in Calabar in 1909 and attended Baptist Girls College in Idi Aba, Abeokuta, before transferring to United Missionary College to pursue a diploma in teacher training.

In 1934, she married Victor Esan and they lived in Lagos for a short time. She returned to her hometown of Ibadan a few years later.

Although educational opportunities for women were limited during the colonial era, Esan founded the Ibadan People’s Girls Grammar School in Molete in 1944 to educate women in a variety of subjects, including domestic science.

In the 1950s, she became involved in partisan politics as a member of the Action Group’s women’s wing. Despite the fact that women were important tools for gaining votes, few were given official power and party-wide responsibility.

Esan, on the other hand, rose through the ranks to become the first female member of the Nigerian National Assembly in 1960, as a senator from Ibadan West. She was a founding member of the National Council of Women Societies as well.

In 1975, she became the 10th Iyalode of Ibadan – a high-rank traditional office that was first occupied by Iyalode Subuola around the year 1850.

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