Iyom Josephine Anenih (born 1948) was appointed Nigerian minister of Women Affairs on 6 April 2010, when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet.
Born in Sokoto in 1948, she moved frequently as her father, a civil servant with the Public Works Department, served postings in States all over Nigeria. She was raised as a Christian. She completed her secondary education at Queen’s College, Lagos. Studying Law, she received a B.Ed, LLB, and B.L. from the University of Ife (1974/75) and the University of Benin.
Her husband at the time Tony Anenih was appointed Minister of Works in 1999 in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first cabinet. They are now separated.
She was the chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers from 1994 to 2000, and was the first National Woman Leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999-2005. In April 2002 she said that implementation of the Sharia legal system in Kano State had ensured the promotion of women’s rights as dictated by Islam. She was a Special Adviser on Women Affairs to President Obasanjo until 2006.
She co-founded the Women Foundation Nigeria, an organization to help Nigerian women exchange views on global women’s issues and to help empower women in politics. She is a member of the Gender Electoral and Constitutional Memoranda Committee, which aims to incorporate women’s perspectives in Nigeria’s Electoral Laws.