Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has promised to continue to invest in the well-being of women to ensure that they achieve all the development goals pertaining to women and the girl child.
She made the promise while delivering a keynote address titled, “Who is a change agent,” at the 10th anniversary of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) in Lagos.
The First Lady said organizations like WIMBIZ had a key role to play in mobilizing African women in all sectors of the economy about the need to be critical stakeholders in the nation’s development.
She said that the objective was to ensure that more women attained positions of decision-making in politics and in all facets of the economy to enable them to contribute to the transformation of the continent.
Erelu Fayemi noted that the continent was blessed with talented and creative women scattered around the world who possessed enough experience to improve the lots of women.
She said, “Women constitute an average of 50 per cent of the population anywhere you go. And if you continue plans to develop your society and your community, if you want to achieve transformation, if you want to achieve great things, you cannot do that leaving 50 per cent of your population behind.
“Women are the ones who suffer the most from poverty, from poor health, from lack of education, from gender- based violence and from a variety of things which hold them back throughout their life cycle.”
Encouraging women to always lend their voices to discourses anywhere they found themselves, she said it was not a positive attribute for any woman to be remembered for her inability to speak above the whimper.
The governor’s wife advised women to play dominant role in finding solutions to the various challenges confronting the womenfolk and the girl-child.
She added that building political and social capital was a veritable way towards achieving a stronghold for women empowerment and emancipation in the continent.
Erelu Fayemi implored women to establish themselves and ensure that they had choices so as not to be treated as second class citizens in their own country.
In her address, the Vice President for the World Bank (Africa Region), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, said women must express leadership in business and provide insight into their mission and vision for their society.
She added that women must become the real catalyst for the social transformation of the country.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairperson of WIMBIZ, Mrs. Yewande Zaccheaus, stated that the vision of WIMBIZ was to be the catalyst that elevates the profile of women in management and business.
She stressed the need for women to be involved in political leadership so that they would not continue to be subjected to government policies, no matter how unpopular and unfavourable to women.
A former Chairman Governing Council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Bolanle Awe, was the conference chairperson.
Other speakers at the conference included a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams; a business magnate, Mrs Ibukun Awosika; the first female 2 star General and Group Managing Director of Navy Post Services, Housing Estate, Vice Admiral Itunu Hotonu and the President of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello, among others.
Last modified: November 10, 2011