By Ebun Sessou, Florence Amagiya & Elizabeth Uwandu
Participants at a forum organised by Vanguard Media Limited have tasked women in Nigeria to be more involved in active politics as well as channel their energy to economic empowerment rather than singing praises of politicians.
The forum, tagged Vanguard International Women’s Day Round Table, with the theme, “Redirecting Nigeria’s Future; the role of women,” was held in commemoration of 2019 International Women’s Day
This year’s round table had over 25 women drawn from various sectors including politics, business, manufacturing, maritime among others and was co-sponsored by Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Radisson Blu hotel and Bode Adediji Partnership,
The participants agreed that the nation had not yet reached its potentials due to the patriarchal nature of the male that has inhibited the full harnessing of the womenfolk. They therefore demanded that Nigerian women should take active participation in all sectors of the economy including politics, manufacturing; commerce and industry and engineering among others.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Lucy Omosefe-Ajayi, Executive Director, LITFC, said that until women kill their phobia for politics, they will not make meaningful impact in the country maintaining that women have been accorded the opportunity to participate in politics by the present administration. “APC led government has given women opportunity by making election forms free for them. However, at the grassroot level, some of them have phobia to run for electoral positions, forgetting that they have the warmth to influence change.
“Formal education should not be a setback, rather women should know that they have enough mental capacity to make changes. If women are not educated, they should endeavour to educate their female children so that they can enjoy the dividends of political participations”, she said.
In her contribution, Mrs Erefa Coker, an entrepreneur called on women to constantly develop themselves to gain relevance saying “women should create innovations and build strategies to enable them make impacts.
On ways to engage the women positively, Uju Uzo-Ojinnaka, CEO, Traders of Africa, TOFA, said engagement of women can only come through grassroot mobilisation; expansion of the female gender and putting women in key positions in various sectors.
“Against the notion that women can not manage key positions, it has been discovered that naturally, women do better than men in positions of authority”, she explained.
For Mrs Kudirat Fashola, CEO, Kuddy Cosmetics, women should understand the rudiments of politics and take opportunities by lobbying for positions for women in order to chart the way forward especially in redirecting the future of Nigeria using women as tools for positive change.