#WomenYouCanRun 3: Inspiring the Next Generation of Nigerian Women: Lecture By Mr. Soji Eniade

Credits: Photo By Louisa May Alcot

This post is an excerpt from a lecture given by Mr. Soji Eniade ( Executive Assistant to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi on Administration) at the NAWOJ special seminar to commemorate the 2018 International women’s day. It was nice to see a man advocating for the emancipation of more women in governance. I hope it inspires some woman to go for her dreams:

Lecture: The International women’s day is a day designed to celebrate women all over the world where contribution and achievements of women are appreciated. It gives me immense pleasure to share that Nigerian women have contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria. However, there is room for more development.

The level of significance of International Women’s day is increasing yearly and has become a convention. It is a celebration of respect, of appreciation, love and care towards our women. It is a day to reflect on progress. According to Joyce Bander, former Malawian President, “The seed of success in every nation on earth are best planted in women and children. This year’s celebration #IWD come at a time when there is advocacy for women’s right, equality, and justice. And a call to put an end to sexual harassment, violence, discrimination against women, kidnapping, trafficking and child abuse amongst others.
Women in Nigeria are usually given high regard and respected though as wives, daughters, and even widows. It is in this regard that I classify my wife, my daughter and my mother as the three most important women in my life. They have not only made me a better person today and supported me through thick and thin they have equally inspired me to my present status. I am sure that many successful men in our society will not have attained their various successes if not for the women in their lives.

The status of women across the world today is precarious, about 70% of the 1.3billion people in the world living in extreme poverty are women. In developing countries, women own less than 2% of the land. Worldwide it has been reported that about 60 million girls are missing due to female for sex slavery. About 5 thousand women are murdered in what is called in some realms honor killing.

93Million children who are out of school are female children. These are issues that policymakers should give attention to.

While good governance has been identified as a key factor for rapid and sustainable development bad governance is increasingly been regarded as one of the root causes of all evil in Nigeria.

When women are seen as equals and are given equal responsibilities their participation enriches governance. Examples are seen in Mrs. Margret Thatcher of UK, Mrs. Theresa May, Angela Merkel of Germany; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia amongst others.The population of women in Nigeria in the last 15 years has grown substantially from 26.8 million to 94.2 million as at 2017. Women and children are regarded as the vulnerable in any society’s demographic composition. However different empowerment programs are been designed to encourage and equip women and further spur them to live meaningful lives and encourage their participation in all areas of human endeavor.

Traditionally our women are involved in home management and just regarded a baby making factories. My own mother was a primary school teacher and I am very proud to be her child. But look at what is happening today, more women are coming boldly out and they are blazing the trail. Then women were less educated and had many societal inhibitions and most especially during elections. Men ask their wives to stay at home during elections back then bot knowing that the right he has, she also has.

Women such as Mrs. Margret Ekpo, Mrs. Janet Mokelu, and Miss Young were members of the Eastern state house of Assembly. Mrs. Funmilayo  Ransome Kuti was a big voice in the Western region and was the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria. Hajiya Gambo Sawaba fought for political and cultural emancipation of women in the North while Anike Agbaje Williams was a  highly talented television broadcaster. These women were all trailblazers but have we improved on their legacy?

We must stop gender stereotypes and seeing of our women as objects of pleasure. Women that are bold to step out are seen as loose women but these women know what they want.

We must involve men and boys in the struggle for gender equality and women empowerment. Boys at tender age should be encouraged to protect their sisters, female neighbors and their women when they grow up.

I want to submit that there is no doubting the fact that women participation in policy and decision making as a whole which is abysmally low in Nigeria is what we should encourage. If encourage this it will benefit the whole society.

I hope to see the next generation of Nigerian women who will stand up to take their destinies into their own hands and lead this country to greater glory within their sphere

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder 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

#WomenYouCanRun 2: Memoirs From International Women’s Day Celebration: A Charge to All Women and Those who Want to Take up Leadership Positions #Nigeria

I was part of`the Press crew who Interviewed Honorable Mulikat Adeola after a special International Women’s day lecture organized by NAWOJ Oyo State chapter. I thought her thoughts were worth sharing here and not just via the radio and television.

Honorable Mulikat: As we are today in Nigeria there is still a lot more women who don’t have their voters card; a lot of women who are of voting age and they don’t have their card. I will implore them to go and get their voters registration card. Once they do that, they will be able to participate, it’s a process. After that, they should support women.

What we are trying to do right now is to mobilize women to support women. And so if we have a substantial number of women with the voter’s card and they are able to support women there will be a difference in the results as opposed to what we had the last time in 2015.

And for those who are going to contest elections, I think they should have started campaigning because politics is not something you just jump in and expect a result. So they should have started to begin to know their environment very well, you need to ensure that you have all it takes to participate. Because by the time you will be going for screening, they will be asking you for some necessary qualification. You must have all that and you must be able to carry the people around you along, it depends on where you want to go to.

If you want to go to the house of Assembly definitely you will know your constituency; begin to work with them; work with the leaders; work with the party members. And be yourself, for me, I don’t believe in pretending. You need to let people know who you are and what you are there for. I pray that women will stand for women. We are out to mobilize, sensitize and also encourage a lot more women to participate come 2019.

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

#WomenYouCanRun 1: What You Must Know If You Want to Join Politics

This morning listening to Oluwaseun Omoakinola, a dear colleague, and brother on his program, “The Conversation”, on Splash FM 105.5 I was richly informed about practical things women who intend to join politics must know. I will be sharing a few interesting down to earth points from one of the guests he featured on the program. It has inspired a title for a series I have been working on and hope to begin to share here. My own small contribution to encouraging more women to be bold in taking up leadership and political positions once they have what it takes.

There is all lot of discussions about women’s participation in leadership and particularly on increasing involvement in politics. And so I hope to be sharing practical points of view of notable women and men leaders and also profile women we can all be inspired by their success in leadership positions and in the political arena. And so welcome to the first post in the series of #WomenYouCanRun 1.

Hon. Nnena Ukeje Elendu on the floor of the House of Representatives. Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq7gqj6ypsA

Honorable Nnena Ukeje Elendu has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007. She is a third term member representing Bende Federal constituency in Abia State under the People’s Democratic party.

Her Political Aim: To leave a much better country than I met it.

Honorable Nnena’s Lecture at an event organized by Women in Business and Public Service(WIMBIZ) an NGO for women on 22 March at Eko Hotel and Suites. It is in commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day.
Theme: Women, Politics and Nation Building (Press4Progress)

If you are running for office as a woman you must answer these questions:

1) Self- Evaluation: Why do I want to run? Find an answer to that question because people will ask. Men are not psychoanalyzed when running for elected office. They believe that every woman who wants to run has a blind ambition to control everyone. Determine also what office you want to run for. Is it a senatorial position, Governor, House of Representatives etc.
2) Are you Prepared? What are you bringing from your present life into office? I was in the hospitality business and found out that my strength was in hold anyone spellbound in a five minutes conversation. And so I was able to convince people easily, this I brought into office when I was elected.
3) Emotionally are you prepared? You are not allowed to have an emotional meltdown; you are not allowed to cry in public. In politics Might is right. You need to be strong.
4) Physically are you prepared? Campaigns are tough. You are up from 5am – 6pm. You must be physically strong and ready to give it the time it takes.
5) What is your cultural view about women in leadership? Family questions must be answered. What is your family’s take on a strong woman? Break the idea that you are either married or be in politics. A woman who can run both the home and be a good politician.

Having answered these questions you are ready to move on to the next level.

A few more points to note:

  • You must understand that competence, CV doesn’t win elections; emotions win elections. The aim of your opponent is fake news, emotional scam and alternative fact.
  • The most important persons in your party is the chairman, the National Organizing chairman, and the secretary, make friends with them. They are the ones in charge of sending your name to INEC.
  • Develop very thick skin…keep your children and family out of social media. You can read stuff about you that you will never believe in the media. Prepare your family for this.

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