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Deputy Governor calls for Gender Equality

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By Morenike Taire

The West African Women Association last week celebration the International W omen’s month in Lagos, borrowing the United Nation’s  theme: THE GENDER AGENDA AND GAINING MOMENTUM. Speaking through  her representative Mrs. Risikat  Akiode, the Deputy Governor of Lagos state Hon. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire expressed here pleasure at the theme of the year’s celebration, being one one that challenges us to intensify our efforts towards reaching the international benchmark for gender equality. .

She stated that the major challenge confronting us today is the need to vigorously pursue the girl-child education initiative, citing UNICEF’’s figures which says that of every 101 million illiterate youth in the world, more than half are girls.

She adds that investing in girl-child education must go beyond lip service and every stakeholder must support  government initiatives in formulating and implementing deliberate policies, procedures and practices that will significantly increase the number of girls that have access to functional and quality education as education remains the only vehicle that can accelerate the progress of our young people towards attaining leadership positions.

*Hon. Adejoke

The government’s gender projects, according to her, include those increasing school’s enrollment opportunities , enacting the child rights law, increasing advocacy programs for sensitization and prosecution of offenders, organizing several leadership training programs, youth camps and competitions, as well as building a factory specially dedicated  specially for victims of abuse, human trafficking and violence against women.

Welcoming guests to the event WAWA focal person and regional chair Chief Mrs. Beatrice Ubeku  said empowering women may remain elusive in Nigeria for many years to come unless the promoters adopt the right strategy: grooming the girl child for leadership roles in Nigeria’s  economic and socio-political decision making processes.

The added that the solution lies in ensuring that the girl child is given adequate training today to fit into the political terrain in the nearest future. She appreciated the ‘Women for Change’ slogan of Her Excellency Dame Patience Jonathan as it is expected to drive the  cause of women’s political participation in nigeria with greater momentum to an appreciable level during her regime as first lady of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Also in attendance were  clergymen, leaders of non-government organizations and media professionals.

Resigning and the Fairer Breed

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) boss Arumah Oteh has proved to be the proverbial cat with nine lives, standing the test of time and defying recommendations of the national lawmakers for her to resign her position. It has been. As this has not happened and Oteh has not bowed to pressure, fresh questions arise as to the culture of no-resignation in African government and its relationship with Jonathan girls Oteh and the country’s Petroleum Minister

The legislators’ grouse about the SEC director-general dates back to their last year’s probe of the near collapse of the capital market. They recommended her sack, but Jonathan would not agree with that proposal. They carried their bias to the making of the budget by giving SEC no allocation in this year’s budget.

SEC was singled out in Clause 10 of the Appropriation Bill that was passed by the National Assembly and signed by the president. That clause states, “All revenues, however described, including all fees received, fines, grants, budgetary provisions, and all internally generated revenue shall not be spent by the Securities and Exchange Commission for recurrent or capital purposes or for any other matter nor liabilities thereon incurred except with prior appropriation and approval by the National Assembly.”

But the president had felt that considering the fact that the budget of SEC does not form part of the core 2013 federal budget as presented to the National Assembly, he believes that this clause ought not to have been inserted in the 2013 Appropriation Act in the first place as the import of the clause is tantamount to shutting down the business of the commission with a potential negative impact on the capital market.

Evidently, Mr. president had no intention of sticking out his neck either for Oteh or for Sec, and approved the budget. Rumours however suggest  President  Jonathan has concluded arrangements to give her a soft landing as she is to be appointed as an executive director with the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). She is already a member of the AMCON board by virtue of her position as DG of SEC.

Beyond all the intrigues, the question is whether we have been right all along or not, on the feminine sex being the fairer breed. You would think the curse of the African leader who would never resign under any circumstance would stick with the men.

Oteh joins Petroleum Minister Dieziani Allison Madueke who has also resisted calls to resign her position as a fallout of legislative probes.


Access is Nigeria’s first ‘Female’ Bank

Access Bank has declared its commitment to issue of gender empowerment and equality. This disclosure was made at the International Women’s Day commemorative event organised by the Women Empowerment Principles Leadership Group (WEPLG) which coincided with the 5th edition of the Equality Means Business meeting in New York.

At the Women Empowerment Principle Leadership Group meeting which is a part of the United Nations efforts on women empowerment, Access Bank represented by its Head, Group Human Resources, Bolaji Agbede highlighted several initiatives the Bank is implementing to boost women empowerment and gender equality within the organisation and the Nigerian society at large.

In her presentation during the feedback session to the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon on the 2013 WEPs, Agbede listed the creation of Access Women Network as one of the organisational initiatives created to support and encourage women in the employment of the Bank.

She added that “Outside Access Bank’s strong intermediation role in providing funding and training for women entrepreneurs through our partnership with the International Finance Corporation, we are equally aware of the challenges of career women and growing women, and consequently created the Access Women Network platform for women within our organisation to help them attain their personal goals and aspirations through mentoring and support”.

She also added that as “the only Nigerian bank that has signed on to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) launched in 2009, Access Bank has continued to demonstrate leadership in the area of Women Empowerment. We have adopted the principles in the development of our Sustainability Report and developed gender focused community initiatives and would continue to support the WEPs Leadership Group as a signatory to the Principles by encouraging other organisations in Nigeria to sign on to the principles”.

Later in his address, Ban Ki Moon described the several initiatives that have been taken by participating organisations as a giant stride and great accomplishment in the journey towards Women Empowerment; particularly the implementation of the WEPs initiatives by corporate bodies. He commended the CEOs whose organisations have signed on to the Women Empowerment Principles and announced the institution of the WEPs Leadership Awards to encourage effective application of the principles.

According to him “the 540 companies present here today demonstrate that implementing the WEPs and advancing gender equality is possible through corporate leadership and innovative programmes that create change not only within their own organizations, but throughout the value chain.”

In acknowledging the progress made so far regarding the Women Empowerment Principles, he explained that investing in women can yield a significant gender dividend and urged both the public and private sectors to reap this benefit by investing in women and bringing them into leadership positions; noting that the most common form of violence experienced by women globally is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner.

Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of principles for business, offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are the result of collaboration between UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The development of the Principles included an international multi-stakeholder consultation process.

7 basic rules of layering

Rule #1: Thinner clothes first

The first rule is straightforward and logical: the closer to your skin, the thinner the material. That said, make sure to start with items that are made from thinner fabrics such as a cotton T-shirt, dress shirt or turtleneck, and then layer them with heavier items such as a wool sweater, a corduroy blazer, or a leather jacket.

Rule #2: Define the layer

A layer is essentially any item that can be worn on its own and look great. In other words, wearing a tacky wife beater underneath a stylish dress shirt does not qualify as cool layering.

Rule #3: Keep it casual

Layering is best used for casual occasions and is generally not appropriate in more formal settings. Keep in mind, however, that a layered combo can include one or more classy pieces, such as a tailored blazer and a fine dress shirt.

Rule #4: Always feel comfortable

As a general rule, you shouldn’t wear anything that feels uncomfortable. With that in mind, if you can’t put your arms all the way down to your sides or scratch the back of your ear, then your layering combination is most likely too thick and therefore, far from trendy.

Add some color, keep it cool, and check out three examples of layering for three different occasions…

Rule #5: Mix in some color

Just because the mercury drops, doesn’t mean you have to put a freeze on your color selection. Black, brown, navy, and gray are all great fall/winter colors, but so are lime green, purple and fuchsia…well, at least when worn and combined properly. Be fearless and don’t hesitate to spice up your look with a little color.

Rule #6: Layering is practical

In general, you’re better off wearing two or three thinner layers of clothing rather than one thick one — especially during fall, when the weather can fluctuate drastically.

Rule #7: Jacket not required

Last but not least, remember that layering must not necessarily include jacket.

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