‘Women can change world for better if economically empowered’

Women empowerment

The Empowered Sapiens Mulier Initiative (ESMI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) for women, says women can change the world for the better if economically empowered.

The group, which made the assertion yesterday at its virtual leadership summit in Lagos, said nations are a reflection of the calibre of women in them.

The Keynote Speaker, Mrs Caroline Rakus-Wojciechowski, speaking on the theme: “Empowering Women for Sustainable Development,” assessed women’s economic empowerment for nation building and the challenges facing it.

Using Nigeria as a case study, Rakus-Wojciechowski said women operated less capital businesses while also stressing the effects of gender gap.

“We got to know that the gender gap cost Nigeria at least 2.3 per cent of her economy,” the Polish American said.

She encouraged women to follow their fire and lead with their intuition, urging them to explore and engineer their plans while also monitoring their environment for opportunities.

Also speaking, Mrs Olawumni Ilesanmi, an entrepreneur, noted that in some cases, education and training could be what a woman needed as opposed to just “dashing” her money.

Ilesanmi said: “Every woman must embody the essence of their reproductive and productive capabilities for nations to thrive.

“Women are systems. They can revolutionise the world because nations reflect the calibre of women in them! Thus, women have as much right as men to build the nation. We must redefine what we are doing.”

She argued that women needed cognitive development, and should embrace their roles, recalibrate values consistently as well as form alliances to take their place as nation builders.

In her remarks, a Social Development Strategist, Mrs Ugochi Obidiegwu, said the seven principles of women empowerment were created in collaboration between the UN Global Compact and UN Women.

According to her, when opportunities are created for women to close the gap, women must be bold to step into them.

”Women need to know the principles behind women empowerment. What you know, you can advocate for and access. It is important that women must be seen.

“There must be high-level corporate positiosn of leadership created and occupied by women. This is one of the seven principles of women empowerment,” Obidiegwu said.

The Founder, African Women Economic Forum, Mrs Lilian Moller, used her background in economic and financial empowerment to highlight challenges women face that inhibit their economic empowerment.

Moller, a Cameroon-born Swiss said: “I have never doubted the strength of an African woman. This is because African female entrepreneurship rates are the highest in the world.

“We have the power and the voice but they are limited; thus, the need for women economic empowerment.”

We got to know that the gender gap cost Nigeria at least 2.3 per cent of her economy.

On her part, a Transformational Leadership Coach and Trainer, Mrs Gina Gardiner, urged women to look within, as they are the authors of their own story.

Sharing her story of resilience, grit, determination and self-awareness, Gardiner called on women to have a clear vision.

“When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, it gets easier to get it done. It is all about choice,” she said.

Also commenting, the Founder and Chairman Board of Trustees of ESMI, Mrs Adaobi Ezeadum, said the NGO sought to provide solutions to socio-cultural women and girl-child problems through community projects and activities.

Ezeadum, a Mindset Coach, said the organisation had helped impact other women by putting them back on the journey to self-discovery or rediscovery. (NAN)

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