Duke, Abiola, Oluwole others tasks women to tap into their natural skills at GLEEHD Women Summit
The programme tagged Women Transforming Communities; Developing Economics brought together hundreds of women from the public and private sector, government functionaries, small business owners, educationists, civil society groups, and media experts.
The event featured various plenary sessions including Transforming Public Service through Women Participation, Women in Business: Transforming the Market Place, Emerging Women Leaders: Leadership through Influence, Media and Imaging Women as Transformers and a Keynote speech Professor Sophie Oluwole.
In his welcome remark, GLEEHD Director Dayo Israel noted
“Without women empowerment, it is impossible to promote sustainable livelihood for women in Africa, and that is why GLEEHD focusing a large part of our Sustainable Livelihood programs on Women and Youth Empowerment”.
In her presentation, the Former First lady of Cross River State said “There are immerse opportunities for women who can tap into their natural skills, acumen, talents and experience in the development of our country”. “Women are bestowed with creative power, skills, talents that can be harnessed, developed and position for relevance in both private and the public sector”, She added.
She noted that the challenges in the economy; insurgency in the north and other teething national problems across the country provides an opportunity for women to bring to bear their natural skills as mediators and home managers for the building of the nation.
“We have women in government who should see themselves as a role model and are serving the people not because they are women but because they have the skilled, experience and expertise needed for the position”, she pointed out.
Duke opined that the value added by women in the scheme of things increases their chances and confident in assuming important position of authority without any reservation.
Funke Bucknor Obruthe, CEO of Zapphire Event in her presentation encouraged women saying “women who hope to aspire to the position of leadership must train themselves and gather more experience, improve their skill and learn new technique that is applicable for business in this modern world”.
In her words, the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Millennium Development Goals, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello said that women can make a lot of changes in public sector if they are committed to service.
Costello shared her personal experience with her pet project – which according to her have helped in reducing the maternal mortality rate to the barest minimum in Ogun State. She opined that the public service work could be a thankless job but it remains the melting pot of development in today’s world.
Citing countries such as China, India, Japan and other world powers who invested so much in the development of their public service and had attained greater level of success, Hafsat called for more representation for women in Public Service.
Earlier in her opening speech, Professor Sophie Oluwole challenged Nigerians women to be actively engage in governance at all levels.
She said that African women have a long history of exhibiting courage, tenacity, powers in business, governance, politics, dispute resolution, mediating among rival groups which must be sustained no matter the odds around us.
Oluwole disputed the notion that Africa women are idle, indolent, under-employed and are socially irrelevant, she said “it is a capitalists ideology to think that African women are not socially significant which is wrong and anti-progressive”.
She cited a lot of women who made tremendous achievement that including Aba women who showed British colonialist the stuff they were made off and Madam Tinubu, the late Lagos business Tycoon who had over 400 men in her employment.
She called on African women to work together toward sustaining the heritage of hard work, ingenuity, and business acumen which characterize the life of an African woman.
Other speakers at the event included Dr. Mrs Naomi King (who spoke via live webcast), Mrs Detoun Ogwo, Yinka Thomas O, Maureen Iyasele, Dupe Irele, Lola Tomi Davies, Bisi Ajayi Kayode, Kemi Areola of Vivacity UK, Comrade Ayodele Adewale – The Mayor of Amuwo Odofin and many more.
The Mayor in his remark during the Plenary on transforming public service through women participation encouraged more women to rise to the challenge and take their place in the path of history.
The Foundation announced her follow up event as a Multi-State Women Enterprise Summit across the Nation that would empower over 10, 000 with skills and seed capital to improve their livelihood.