WD2019 Official Opening Press Conference Press Release – Investing in girls and women will deliver progress for all.

World’s Largest Conference on Gender Equality Opens in Vancouver with a
Call to Redefine Power at Every Level

Heads of state from four nations sat side-by-side young leaders and grassroots advocates as delegates from more than 165 countries kicked off the Women Deliver 2019 Conference

(Vancouver, Canada) – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, kicked off on the 3rd of June with more than 8,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists gathered in Vancouver, and more than 100,000 participating in a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and WDLive, the virtual conference. 1,400 youth delegates from 139 countries are expected to attend the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, where every plenary program and most concurrents feature a young person.

The conference will focus on power, and how it can drive – or hinder – progress and change; and how societies must redefine the concept of ‘power’ and use it as a force for good.

The conference will examine power operating at three levels:
The Individual’s Power – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will examine girls’ and women’s individual power, self-esteem and agency. And how to strengthen that power.
Structural power – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will explore and challenge systems, barriers, and opportunities for progress in power relations, including political, economic, and social structures.

The Power of Movements – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will dive into the power of movements, and how we can shape critical consciousness and marshal collective action for change.
While the Women Deliver 2019 Conference and global dialogue will place a special emphasis on power, the conference will offer solutions to fill the gap on a vast array of issues crucial to gender equality: economic empowerment, women and the environment, nutrition, education, political participation, preventing gender-based violence, health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, human rights, and much more.

“The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is much more than a conference, it is one important step on the march towards gender equality,” said Katja Iversen, Women Deliver President/CEO at the opening press conference. “We all have power to contribute to a more gender equal world. If we use our individual and collective power – boldly, smartly and collaboratively — progress will follow.”

“The Women Deliver conference will be a truly historic week. I look forward to joining many grassroots leaders and advocates who have dedicated their lives to defending and advancing women’s rights. We know we can’t take our foot off the pedal, not even for a moment. I’ll be at the conference to show Canada’s leadership on gender equality isn’t going anywhere, and that we’re not just speaking up, but stepping up too.”

The conference will take place from 3-6 June 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Center. Additional key speakers include:
Tarana Burke, founder of the ‘me too’ movement
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
Farwiza Farhan, Leader, Forest, Nature, and Environment Aceh
Henrietta H Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
Ken Frazier, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Merck + Co., Inc.
Melinda Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Waneek Horn-Miller, Indigenous Olympian
Hina Jilani, Supreme Court of Pakistan
Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA
Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award winning singer
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Deliver for Good Influencer, Women Deliver
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuko, Executive Director, UN Women
Osvaldo Rudloff, Executive Director, OLACEFS (Latin American and Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions)
Ailbhe Smyth, Co-Director, Together for Yes
Theo Sowa, CEO, African Women’s Development Fund
Maysoon Zayid, Actress, Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate

The conference has sparked a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and virtual participation. To date, more than 186 events on six continents have registered as satellite events, estimated to reach more than 82,000 people.

Canada has especially seen a strong effort to mobilize community engagement around the conference through the Women Deliver Mobilization Canada campaign. With events in every region and most provinces and territories, thousands of Canadians have joined together over the past year to advance the conversation on gender equality.

Anyone can tune into the conference for free through the virtual conference, WDLive, which will be streaming from 3-6 June 2019 on wd2019.org.

About Women Deliver. Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women.

Our advocacy drives investment – political and financial – in the lives of girls and women worldwide. We harness evidence and unite diverse voices to spark commitment to gender equality. And we get results.

Anchored in sexual and reproductive health, we advocate for the rights of girls and women across every aspect of their lives.

We know that investing in girls and women will deliver progress for all.

And every three years, we galvanize momentum at the global Women Deliver Conference – our signature event. It’s a bold and diverse gathering, a fueling station of ideas, and generator of action, convening thousands of decision-makers from civil society, governments, the private sector, and international agencies alongside advocates, activists, and journalists to identify solutions and drive change for girls and women.

Media Contacts :
Women Deliver : Bijoyeta Das, bdas@womendeliver.org, 617-953-0755

Copyright © 2019 Women Deliver

Adebisi Adetunji –  Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.c

The Girl Child, An Endangered Specie in the 21st Century Nigeria: Public Lecture & Book Launch by Fill in the Gaps Outreach

The utmost responsibility of any nation is to provide security for her citizens – Prof. Stella Odebode.

As the world marked another “Day of the Girl Child” on 11th October 2018, there were many activities organized by individuals, organizations, and groups to draw attention to the challenges beguiling and preventing girls from achieving their potentials. It was also to bring to fore practices that harm the girl child’s physical and psychological well-being and to seek solutions to ending these inhuman treatments such as rape, sexual violence, abduction and kidnap, sex slavery, early marriage, lack of equal rights to education and opportunities, domestic abuse, child slavery and Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).

One of such organization, “The Fill in the Gap Outreach(NGO)”, brought together various stakeholders; students, parents and guardians, policy makers, Community leaders, development partners, and the media to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child through a public lecture. The CEO, Princess Aderonke Olajide in her opening remarks said that one of the organization’s goal is premised on filling the gaps created by unexpected pregnancy which occurs in the life of some girls for whatever reason. Fill in the Gaps provide support for such girls through ensuring safe delivery of their babies and ensuring they go back to school/learn a skill.
An interesting, informative and eye-opening lecture titled, “The Girl Child as an Endangered Species in the 21st Century Nigeria was delivered by Prof. Stella Odebode, Director Gender Mainstreaming office, University of Ibadan.

A cross of school girls present at the Fill in the Gap Outreach Public lecture

A few take away points from the lecture:

  • Globally 60% of girls are denied education as opposed to boys who are 40%.
  • Rape and sexual violence is a global phenomenon that needs to be continually addressed. Students are sexually molested by teachers, headmasters and other people who are supposed to be carers.
  • Perpetrators are hardly prosecuted which promotes the culture of silence.
  •  Parents need to be very sensitive and conscious of any signs that anyone is attempting to abuse their wards particularly extended family members living with them.
  • Prevalence of Child marriage and young mothers: According to a study carried out by Prof. Stella Odebode in Igbo Ora, Oyo state there is a prevalence of young mothers ages 11, 12 and above.
  • There is an increased incidence of school dropout and unwanted pregnancy in girls.
  • 1 in 4 children is reported as having an incidence of sexual violence.
  •  In some parts of Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before age 18. In some other parts, 15% are married off before age 15.
  • Key ailments of girls exposed to early marriage are VVF, Anemia, High Blood pressure, premature births and even death in some cases.

Solutions

The Chairman of the occasion – Dr. Mike Omotosho , PDG, D9125, AKS Rotary International, dressed in his Ghanian royal title in a pix pose with the convener & CEO, Fill in the Gaps Outreach – Princess Aderonke Olajide
  • All maternity and orphanage homes should be dully registered to nib in the board criminal activities that expose children particularly girls to any form of sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Speak up and do something about that your neighbor who is abusing his/her housemaid or child. If you notice something isn’t right and a life is endangered, do not mind your business. Remember that it could be you or your child.

You are standing under the shade of a tree because someone planted it – Warren Buffet

Dignitaries at the Lecture

Dr. Mike Omotosho, PDG, D9125, AKS Rotary International – Chairman.
Her Excellency, Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed- First Lady of Kwara State – Special guest of Honour
Prof. Stella Odebode – Guest Lecturer
Mr. Oluwarotimi O. Martins – MD/CEO Midway Airlines – Chief Launcher
Chief Mrs. Ranti Koiki – CEO, Fawzy Hotels, Nigeria – Guest of Honour
Alh. Mohammed Bello – Zonal Director, FRCN Ibadan Zonal station – Guest of Honor
Asiwaju Abdlrazaq Shittu – President/Chairman, Skysite Offshore Access (WA)Ltd – Father of the Day
Princess Olabisi Sangodoyin

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Guest Post:Tony Elumelu Foundation to Launch the World’s Largest Digital Platform for African Entrepreneurs.

We all need dream supporters to help bring alive our goals. Organizations like the one in this post,  Sade Osigwe, a dear friend and colleague shares below,  gives hope to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We need more philanthropic individuals and bodies like this. 

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Some Entrepreneurs with the Founders of Tony Elumelu Foundation

Nigeria will on October 25, 2018 play host to two major African Presidents. They are President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

The event is the 2018 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum,(TEF),taking place at the Federal Palace Hotel,Lagos.

The forum will also host about 5000 Entrepreneurs and 200 Investors as well as Government Administrators and Policy makers. The TEF founder,Tony O.Elumelu is expected to moderate the interactive session with the two African Presidents.

The brain behind the summit which is also the Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation,The Tony Elumelu Foundation had committed $100 million to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years.

Being in its 4th year, the foundation has empowered 4,460 entrepreneurs with a total investment of USD 20million,out of which 4000 were funded directly by the foundation while the remaining 460 were sponsored by TEF partners.

The Entrepreneurship forum was borne out of the foundation’s resolve to foster trade and business networking opportunities just as the 2018 theme centres on ”empowering African Entrepreneurs”.

This year’s event will also feature the launch of the world’s largest digital platform for African Entrepreneurs. Similarly,there will be a pitching competition and Investor-ready panel session for the budding Entrepreneurs.

Writter: Afolasade Osigwe-braimah is a broadcast /online journalist, producer, presenter, translator and script writer. Afolasade also trained as a Demographer with great interest in women,children and the elderly as well as development -oriented endeavours. She received the 2017 TEF African journalism fellowship to cover the 3rd TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos in 2017.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) 

 

Empowering School Girls Through Table Tennis Championship

I believe strongly in “Doing Something about the Change you want to See”, or nothing will change. If we want more girls to participate and benefit from sports then someone must drive and motivate them.

It is a delight to witness the birth of the Funke-treasure Table Tennis Championship (F3TC) for girls. And the Maiden edition is kicking off in my city – Ibadan, Oyo State. 🙌

For many great achievers or persons who stand out in their chosen field of profession someone believed in and mentored them. One woman who stands out in the world of Tennis is Serena Williams. Serena and her sister Venus were groomed by their father from age 3…Wow! Today they are world champions.

When you identify a child’s gift, nuture it. Catch them young and help chat a great future

So come September 18-21, 2018 the F3TC competition will be birthing the next generation of World champions in Table Tennis… You better believe it because I do!

Aim of the competition :

  • To Motivate girls to participate more in sports and therefore become more confident, independent and not be afraid to compete.
  • To produce formidable female players who will represent the nation(Nigeria) in Table Tennis.
  • Reawaken interest in Table Tennis as a sport.

How Schools and Girls can Participate

Click on this link F3TC and download a registration form. Each school has the privilege of nominating and registering 2 girls.

What You Stand to gain

  • Two-day coaching clinic embedded in the championship.
  • Winning School /girl gets Branded Table Tennis Board, a trophy, a medal, certificate of participation.
  • The winning Girl goes home with a brand new laptop.
  • Continues coaching and mentoring for exceptional girls and opportunities to travel outside the country.

Funke Treasure is a multiple award winning international broadcast journalist ; a speech coach who offers training and mentorship in broadcasting, journalism, management & Leadership skills. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media consultant – @debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

A-DAY OUTREACH ON FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES (FP) In commemoration of World Population Day at Oje Market, Ibadan

A view of Oje Market on Tuesday 10th July 2018 Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia
NURHI Community mobilizers sensitizing market men & women about the ongoing free family planning service outreach. Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia

At the Oje Market bustling with activities where market women display their wares and goods to sell to customers, the atmosphere was a mixed ambiance of buying and selling noise and drums with dancing.

Something was up at the market on this day. Right at the center of the market close to the “Babaloja” (Chairman of the market) tents were mounted up and chairs arranged to receive beneficiaries of the free family planning services been provided for the market women and anyone who was interested in accessing this service.

As one of the media crew who was present to cover this exciting program I observed that a few women were already sitting waiting patiently as the health workers and FP service providers set things up putting in place products to serve these dear women who keep working hard to make a living and taking care of their family members. Other women hawking bread; food vendors and so on dropped their wares to take advantage of the moment. I knew juicy stories were waiting for me here but most of all it was great seeing these low income earning women get the opportunity to make a decision about their reproductive life.

The slogan for the outreach-

Family Planning is Life Planning: Know About it, Accept it, Access it.

Nigeria currently ranks  number 7 in the world population. In a 2017 report earlier by UN- Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) the country is expected to be the the third most populous nation in the world! Nigeria with a projected population of 187million is expected to grow to about 250million. This is alarming given the nation’s economic indices and GDP growth which is not commesurate to cater for provision of basic amenities and sustainable livelihood for citizens. The government need to plan for the future by putting in place measures to control population explosion that will further impact negatively on our economy.

Meet two of the beneficiaries as they share their FP story and onwhy they showed up at the outreach:

Mrs Idowu and her baby after taking her free injectable family planning method. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Idowu Olaide – FP Service beneficiary – A tailor 
I am at Oje Market to access the free family planning services been provided here today. I became a user of FP because my older sisters who are also mothers are users of family planning. This encouraged me to also become a user when I began to have my children and It has been three years now since I started using FP. I am on the 3 monthly injectables Family planning method. So today I came for a follow-up visit to have another dose of my FP method. I have enjoyed the method I use. Often I tell other women to also go and access family planning because it has many benefits. It prevents a woman from getting pregnant when she is still nursing a baby

Mrs Saheed after collecting her FP Pills in an interview with Journalists. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Saheed Suliat 
I became educated about family planning and its benefits through awareness on the radio and then at the clinic nurses and health workers talk to us about it. I have been a user of the Pills family method even before I got married. Today I am here to access free FP services and therefore I was able to get my pills for free here at this outreach in the market
This particular beneficiary had a misconception that FP prevents sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to note that only Condom has a double protection which is preventing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the Facilitators of the Outreach share their thoughts :

Mrs. Victoria Segilola -Program Officer ARFH
This outreach is all about bringing the family planning services to market women who find it difficult to leave their business to go family planning to access services. So we have brought the free services to their doorsteps and attending to clients does not take more than 10 minutes and then they can go back to their shops. Team members and mobilizers are all over the market sensitizing the market women and men.

Mrs. Segilola has been an advocate for family planning for over 40 years.

I am happy at the progress we have made in reducing maternal mortality rate according to statistics. This the basis of all efforts at encouraging more women to take on family planning. And it is heartwarming to see that all collaborative efforts have greatly improved peoples uptake of FP.
However, these women need the support of their husband and government. More Funds investment by the government will improve these low earning women to have free access to family planning services.

Mrs. Stella Akinso State Team Lead, NURHI Oyo State
We are here at the Oje Market to let people know that family planning uptake is not by cohesion it is voluntary. Promoting the right of every human being to access FP particularly Women of Reproductive years
Right to information and quality services about family planning that will empower them to make the right decisions
Data shows that there is high knowledge but low acceptance of FP especially with rural and urban-rural women who still need their husband’s permission to take up Family planning services. We are encouraging spousal communication but also want people to know that it is the right of every individual of reproductive age to seek and to access family planning services.

As we celebrate another world population day it is imperative to understand that it is the right of every citizen to make informed choices about planning their lives in order to achieve a more productive life.

In our efforts to combat poverty we must pay attention to our population and be sure that we have enough resources to cater for our growing number.

Organizers:
National Population Commission in collaboration with development partners ( The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI 2); Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN); Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH); Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA); and National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

105 Dapchi School Girls Kidnapped Released #Nigeria – Who is Playing Games with the Lives of Our Children, Our Girls?!

On February 19, 2018 about 110 Dapchi School Girls were kidnapped during school hours by gun men who came in a number of vehicles. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the incident. It was simply heartbreaking to hear that another set of school girls had been abducted. This was coming in the wake of the Chibok girls whom we are yet to recover from the clutches of the terrorists group for 4 years now.  Yes some have been reportedly found but I doubt if we will ever recover all of them. So for me hearing about the Dapchi School Girls abduction was just too much…. I haven’t been able to put pen to paper to talk about the issue. But hearing about their release some minutes ago….. I have to say something!

This morning we received the news that the suspected Boko Hiram terrorist who abducted the girls came driving into Dapchi town in nine vehicles with 105 girls out of 110 girls earlier abducted. These are girls from JSS 1-SSS 3 and between ages 11& 19. I can’t imagine the horror of it for the girls and their parents.

It is a relief to hear that these girls are back home and will be reunited with their families. However I wonder again who is really behind this kidnapping. Is it just the Boko Haram group or we are actually acting a political drama at the expense of the lives of our young school girls.

Who knows what the abductors must have done to these girls! Possibly many if not all have been sexually abused 😖 And we are also hearing that 5 of the girls may be dead!!

This is totally unacceptable! Who is playing a dirty game with the lives of our children? Who is playing an evil game with our girls?! Something needs to be done to prevent a repeat of this horrible act. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Project Director Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development. 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Njideka Ekuma Mbam: She Ran and Her Whole Community Had to Make A Decision

There are stories that you hear and it just gladens your heart in a warm way. And when something you were a part of contributes to the success of the story then you get a sense of fulfillment that you have made a difference in someone’s life. The telephone number featured on the FGMC sensitization radio drama “Pim Pim Pim” became a life line to people who attempted to get help for three girls on the run.

Njideka had listened to education talks about the negative effects of female genital mutilation and cutting also known as female circumcision on girls in school and in church. In her community girls must go through the rite of female circumcision to attain womanhood and soon the drums heralding her time to be cut began to sound.

A few days to her being circumcised Njideka ran to protect herself. Two other girls joined her. A series of event took place which finally lead to the IZZI community abandoning FGMC. Njideka is indeed a brave girl and a hero in the fight against a harmful cultural practice. Here is a short video telling her story and that of her community:

Adebisi Adetunji (C) BusyBee Media for Social Change & Development. Email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com twitter – @DebisiBusybee