Iyom Josephine Nwogo Anenih was one of the most prominent women politicians in Nigeria when Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. She was a major force behind the mobilization of the womenfolk into the country’s political landscape.
In the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where she was the Woman Leader from 1999, she was responsible for women mobilization and organisation, initiation, and implementation of strategic programs and policies accentuating the relationship between the PDP and Nigerian women.
Her efforts saw greater participation of women in party affairs through more gender-sensitive amendments to the party constitutions as well as greater awareness among women of political and civil rights through organisation of interactive conferences, seminars, and meetings.
Anenih who was often identified by her chieftaincy title, Iyom, was in 2010 appointed Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development; she became President of Women Foundation of Nigeria in 2012 and was a member of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in 2009. Before being appointed Minister, Iyom had served as Special Adviser to the President on Women Affairs (2006). She was also a delegate to the 2014 National Conference. In 2002 she was a member of the Assembly, International Parliament for Safety and Peace.
In 2001, Iyom Josephine Anenih initiated the Indomitable Spirit Awards geared towards honouring women achievers and highlighting their un-sung contributions to national and international development, with a view to bringing out the Indomitable Spirit in other women, and making them achievers. She c0-founded the Women Foundation of Nigeria and was chairman PDP Constitution Review Committee (2000 – 2001). She was the chairman, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Edo State Chapter (1994 – 2001). In 2000 she initiated the Nationwide Drug Awareness Project (NADRAP)
Iyom Anenih was educated at Queens College, Lagos (WASC,1966); Midwest Institute (Secretarial Diploma, 1971); University of Ife (B.Ed, 1975); University of Benin (LLB (Hons), 1990); CEDPA Alumna (2000).