The Women’s Empowerment Conference in Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria

From left: Emilia Aim-Ita, Oluyemisi Adedayo, Tinuola Aina and Taiwo Ayenuro. Photo: courtesy of Tinuola Aina.

Recognition for the unique needs of women and a call to eliminate violence against women in the workplace were just some of the topics discussed at a conference I organized in Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

The Women’s Empowerment Conference was part of my Champions for Change tenue activity. The aim was to help participants to network and to learn about issues surrounding women’s empowerment and how to overcome such barriers.

Three speakers agreed to share their experience with participants of the conference: Emilia Aim-Ita, Senior Consultant, Strategy and External Relations of Thistle Praxis Consulting; Oluyemisi Adedayo, CEO of the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation, and Taiwo Ayenuro, founder of Young Mothers Empowerment Network (YouMEN).

Ms. Asim-Ita’s presentation was on Women’s inclusiveness at the workplace; A pathway to gender equality. She said that gender-diverse policies are essential at the workplace and that the unique needs of women must be recognized.

Mrs. Adedayo spoke on Women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and skill acquisition. She emphasized that eliminating violence against women at the workplace can increase productivity by 40 %. She added that women need to create goals, get educated in their chosen field, and be encouraged to empower other women.

Photo: courtesy of Tinuola Aina.

She underlined her message with the story of Julian Omala; CEO of Delight Uganda who defied all odds to become an employer and one of the top female entrepreneurs in Uganda.

Mrs. Ayenuro made a presentation on Ending violence against women and girls; a prerogative for women’s empowerment. She emphasized that men need to become more aware of the real stories of violence against women and girls to gain a better understanding of the problem. She called for more attention to campaigns encouraging victims to speak up, in order punish their attackers.

The conference also featured two interactive breakout sessions which offered recommendations on; Transitioning women to STEM careers and Engaging men as advocates for women empowerment.

At the end of the conference, participants had a shift in perspectives and were encouraged to break through mental and emotional limitations; they were asked to imagine more ways to help empower other women and speak up for one another; and there was a call for more of these kinds of conferences in remote areas.

Photo: courtesy of Tinuola Aina.

Photographer & Videographer Credit: Courtesy of Tinuola Aina

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