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IWD 2021: Women choosing to challenge

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As the world launches into March, the Women History Month highlighted by the International Women’s Day on the 8th, WO engages 11 unique, resilient Nigerian women in celebrating the moment. Meet them.

“Women can build resilience by sticking together”

Rhoda Prevail Toyden, FIDA President

IWD means hope to me as a woman, hope for a better future, hope for an equal world where I do not have to feel inferior, or a lesser human being- it means a future for me and my daughters that will be free from every form of discrimination and that our thoughts will count on the table where decisions are taken.

Women can build resilience by sticking together, believing in each other, in ourselves and never giving up. Keep hope alive and continue the struggle until we have a world free of all forms of discrimination.

Being a female has been my greatest joy in spite of all the odds. As a female, I’m naturally endued with the power to love, care and nurture all around me in a way that only I as a female can do.

With other females around me, it is a tremendous bond that I and we can achieve whatever we set our minds to, address our issues and challenges together for a better world for all and especially for women and girls who have been relegated by virtue of being born female.

We can, if we can challenge the status quo.”A challenged world is an alert world.”

“I build resilience by striving to do what l do better”

Adenike Ibirogba is an Entrepreneur. It has always been a day of reflection. Asking questions on what l have achieved as a woman, mother, wife and entrepreneur and secondly, what women have achieved locally and internationally.

READ ALSO: PFN honours Osinbajo, Ugwuanyi with ‘Defender of the Faith’ awards

I build resilience by striving to do what l do better. Listening to alternative views. Reading and updating my knowledge base and networks. Also looking for avenues to help others, especially women.

It has been okay being a female as l don’t see challenges as a gender issue.

“Ready to be of help to others”

Dr. Juliet is a Psychology expert. It is a day set aside by the international bodies to celebrate women who have made impact in various dimensions.

You should take care of yourself. Join a support group. Practice mindfulness therapy.

Ready to be of help to others. Make SMART goals. Avoid toxic relationships. Try connecting with friends and families. Learn to relax. Keep developing yourself.

It’s been a thing of joy being a woman. I am proud that I am a woman, and would love to be a woman over and over again. Without a woman, the world is incomplete.

‘‘Resilience is an essential life virtue that is required”

Omilola Oshikoya is a Wealth Coach. IWD is a day where women are celebrated globally. It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. For me personally, it is a significant day because on International wWomen’s Day 2017, I announced the release of my first book: The Richer Woman that changed my life forever. The theme in 2017 was Bold for Change and it was a bold move for me to announce that I was releasing a book about my journey in life which involved adultery.

Resilience is a major component of wealth that we all must possess. Essentially, resilience is an essential life virtue that is required. In the world today, everyone is affected by the global pandemic regardless of your social status, age, race or location. The difference and the game changer in all of this is those who are able to come out stronger from adversity.

Resilience is an attribute that I have imbibed over the years. My story and my marriage are a testament to this.

I love being a female. Growing up, I never faced any discrimination as a girl and I didn’t see a difference between me and my brothers. The only thing though is that I remember cooking in the kitchen while they played and I always wondered why.

It’s a time for women to shine. It’s a time for women like Esther in the Bible and Okonjo-Iweala, the head of WTO to take their places in the important places in the world. It’s such an exciting time to be female and most especially, a black African female. The sky is just the beginning for us.

“It’s a day to put the spotlight on the fervor”

Yvonne Ebbi is a Personal Brand/Image Expert. IWD is a day to celebrate the uniqueness and awesomeness of womanhood.

It’s a day to recognise the brilliance of women as they create masterpieces in their respective endeavours.

It’s a day to put the spotlight on the fervour, flavour and feminine force that women bring to the table.

A woman’s worth is priceless. She initiates, creates, recreates, strategizes, innovates and multitasks. She leads, directs and executes. She nurtures, motivates, encourages and cheers her team.

The woman is all shades of amazing. And the world recognises the need to remind the woman about her essence, worth and impact.

“The key to resilience is to be focused on goals”

Engr Felicia Agubata PhD. It is a day set aside to celebrate the attainments of women on various fronts ie economic, social, political, cultural and you name it, whilst also making a call for action to  accelerate the equality of the genders.

Resilience is the ability to spring back into shape or to be elastic. It is the capacity to bounce back after setbacks; the ability to stay the course despite distractions, drawbacks and challenges. The key to resilience is to be focused on goals, to build strength and to never ever give up.

I have always been a female and nothing but a female. I am peacefully happy with who I am.

Regardless, being a female has been interesting and challenging.

Challenging because in my part of the world, there are barriers, cultural, religious, political, socio-economic etc that the girl-child would overcome first in order to achieve her ambitions of being whom and what she wants to be. It starts from the cradle really because the girl-child is groomed differently versus the boy-child. The boy-child is groomed to be brave and to take risks in his career pursuits or professions to enlist in.

On the contrary, the girl-child is not expected to push hard or to aspire to actualise her potential. The society seemingly defines what she should be and where she should end up.

The emerging scenario is that women are becoming freer to pursue their dreams. Today, much more than ever before in the history of Nigeria or perhaps globally, we have highly competent and technically skilled women, who by power of personal examples are blazing the trail and showing us that skill, intelligence or competence is evenly distributed among the sexes. We must necessarily complement each other to advance human civilisation.

“It is a time to reflect”

Abimbola Olu-Solanke is a nutritionist and entrepreneur. Celebrating the courage it takes to be daring, to step out on our own and take risks in the entrepreneurial  or career journey. Taking charge of one’s life is fast becoming a woman’s  ‘thing’.

As a particularly busy career mom, I know that a healthy lifestyle will fuel me to achieve my goals and aspirations regarding work.

I help working women get cures from ailments, be it in body-mind balance and achieve body love through a better relationship with food using nutritional and lifestyle solutions.

Being a woman shouldn’t be about fitting into a box, it should be liberating and empowering.

Be whatsoever you want to be; dream and achieve your goals. And as the world marks another International Women’s Day, it’s about highlighting the strengths and the limitless possibilities of being a woman in this new normal.

“The world is our oyster”

amela Okoroigwe is a lawyer and advocate. To me, International Women’s Day is about reflecting on the progress made towards gender parity and recognising that we still have a long way to go in achieving it. It also means celebrating female lawyers and all other women who are making significant progress in our society despite the several barriers they face in our male-dominated world.

My message to women everywhere is for them to get involved in all levels of decision-making in public life; that is the easiest way to influence decision-making, especially decisions concerning women’s rights, gender parity and violence against women and girls.  We are beautiful, strong, incredible, unique and worthy and can achieve anything we set our mind on. We should therefore be audacious and boundless, the world is our oyster.

“The future depends on us”

Seun Taiwo is a Human Resource Practitioner.

It is a day to celebrate women for their uniqueness. Women who, despite the odds against their gender are reaching out to be the best they can be in their careers, workplaces, businesses and in the family front. It is a moment to recognise the women who, irrespective of the various challenges they go through, are emerging, daring the status quo and raising the bar in their various fields of endeavour.

It is a time to recall that our little efforts and successes are identified with, a moment we feel the pulse of other women, knowing that even while we are yet to attain our desired results and wins, we are not alone. And together, we can achieve more if we would not relent.

A time to reflect on the truth, that the society and future depends on us. 

We can be all we want to be if we keep taking those little steps forward. We should not stop dreaming, take that course, get that degree, add that extra skill if that is what you need for the next level. Don’t stop believing in yourself. Take bold steps in the right direction, don’t give in to fear or discouragement. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, if you do, you have learnt to do it better next time. Celebrate your success, no matter how little and keep aiming for the top. A woman is meant for the top!

I choose to challenge the barrier that limits a woman in the workplace.

Women have come a long way”

Kehinde Idowu is a media practitioner. “Women have come a long way from the history, culture and traditions that have held them back and relegated them to the lower strata of the society. Today, we see women holding influential positions in the Media, Social, Economic and Political spheres across the world. Bringing it home, we look at the recent position of our very own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Being a media practitioner, this is a laudable feat and an encouragement, knowing our contributions in impacting our society is not a waste. Our voices can still be heard and there are still more grounds to conquer through our platform.

Let’s continue to break barriers and let’s be united in strength to fight injustice and inequality. I choose to challenge the underrepresentation of women in elective offices in the National Assembly.

“Arise and speak”

Bisi Awoyomi is an educationist. “International Women’s Day is a day where I get celebrated as a woman  due to my invaluable contributions to the society: economically, academically, socially, among others.

“A day when I am reminded of the struggles I face as a woman and of the struggles other women face economically, politically, socially, among others. It is a time to lift up other women around me and strengthen the bond.

“My message to the woman is that she is enough irrespective of her ethnic group, religion, nationality and education.

“She should never give up in the face of intimidation, oppression, and inequality.  She should arise and speak, as that is the only way her voice can be heard.

On this occasion, I choose to challenge gender inequality in the workplace. Today, I choose to challenge intimidation and suppression of every woman in every sector of the economy.

“We need more women like myself “

Ozy Ukegbu-Onwordi is a farmer. 12 years into her banking career, Ozy decided to follow her passion into farming.

“The International Women’s Day is a unique day set aside to celebrate the achievement and contribution of women in building the society economically, socially, culturally and politically. It pushes for women equality, to do better for themselves and sit at tables ordinarily reserved for the opposite sex. Women breaking norms and changing such narrative is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the Director General of the World Trade Organization. “2020 was a tough year for the strongest and most structured organizations around the world. Surviving was a matter of sheer will, all round family support crowned by the Grace of God. ““My experience being a female ‘farmer’ has been “awesomely interesting. I am a definition of passion meets determination! I am one of the few young generation women making a gradual mark in the Nigerian Agri Space and defining what the new face of agriculture should be. The new face of Agriculture is classy, clean, sassy, business focused, innovative and continually striving for excellence. It is a huge responsibility to feed the nation nutritious and safe food. We need more young women like myself with diverse industry experience to come on board the Nigerian Agri Space.

Watch Out for

Vanguard’s Yearly International Women’s Day Roundtable Conference coming up on 25th March, 2021.

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