Bolanle Awe; Professor of History, born January 28, 1933 in Ilesa, Osun State. Awe attended CMS Girls’ School, Lagos, 1946-50; St. Anne’s School, Ibadan, 1950-57; Perse School for Girls, Cambridge, England, 1952-54; University of St, Andrews, Scotland, UK, 1954-58; and Oxford University, UK, 1958-60. She lectured at various times at the universities of Lagos and Ibadan. She was for several years Oyo State commissioner for education and later commissioner for trade, industries and cooperatives[i].
Bolanle Awe was appointed by General Babangida, Nigerian Head of State when the Armed Forces Ruling Council, AFRC favoured the down-toning of the First Lady office in favour of a more official agency. Awe was selected to head the newly created ministry of women affairs. It did not take six months before Awe fell apart with first lady, Mariam, whose Better Life Programme had been sued for perceived illegality by Gani Fawehinmi, necessitating her own women ministry with an agenda for rural women. Awe came to believe that Mariam’s intention was to use the ministry as a cover-up for her pet project, Better Life[ii]. The National Commission for Women, NCW that was established in 1990 under Awe pushed for autonomy. Awe lost the fight when the board of the NCW was reconstituted and put under the Office of the First Lady[iii]. Bolanle Awe holds the national honour of the Officer of the Federal Republic OFR. She is the author of University Education of Women in Nigeria, The Economic Role of Women in Traditional African Society and several other publications[iv].
[i] TELL January 26, 2004
[ii] TELL October 30, 2000
[iii] The News January 11, 2010
[iv] Insider January 31, 2005