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'HOW WOMEN CAN CHANGE THE WORLD'

By NBF News
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A cross section of women at the event
It was a talkshop on women and various speakers at the event urged women to be the best they can be wherever they find themselves.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mrs. Funke Adekoya, was among those that spoke at the Junior Chambers International Lagos Metro 55th anniversary and annual lecture held at the Eko Hotels and Suites recently.

Speaking on the theme, Women and the Society: How we can inspire our world, Adekoya noted that women can inspire their world through their behaviour, by being competent and being morally upright.

'We can change the way we are perceived. The opponents of women emancipation believe that urban educated women are morally decadent. We must show them that this is not true by being competent and hardworking. We should make it real that indeed the best man for the job is a woman.'

Admitting that women also hinder the emancipation of their fellow women, she said educated women should use their privilege to better the lot of other women especially at the grassroots. This, she said, they could do by advocating education through their activities, supporting and campaigning for women who seek elective offices and ensuring that those campaign promises are extracted from them.

Speaking in the same vein at the forum, a retired nurse, health coach and entrepreneur Mrs. Folu Onagoruwa wondered why women should be asking for recognition. She said rather they should prove their mettle in whatever responsibility entrusted to them.

Urging women to be purposeful, she encouraged mothers to start mentoring their girls to be focused and purposed driven.

Another speaker at the event, Mrs. Nkechi Alli-Balogun, former chairperson of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Lagos State Chapter, who chose to speak from the spiritual angle said that for the woman to inspire her world, she must see herself as God had made her. She said women should always be motivated to move to the front and not stay at the back.

A confectioner and retired accountant, Mrs. Siku Adewuyi, CEO of Cakes and Candy, urged women to get their priorities right and to pursue their passion.

Sharing her own experience of leaving the accounting practice of about a decade, to pursue her passion for baking cakes, she said she had never felt more fulfilled.

'I resigned from KPMG in 1996 after about 10 years to do what I had always loved to do: baking cakes. Today, I feel more fulfilled,' she said.

She also urged the womenfolk to be disciplined and educate themselves more, noting that as women, they have a great responsibility to the society.

She said: 'Nurture your children, strike a balance between the home and work, prioritise your values, you mustn't be like the Joneses. And you must have a vision to add value to the society. Because I want to make impact in my community, no matter how small, I started going to secondary schools to teach them how to bake cakes. Don't wait till you get there before making an impact. You can start in your own little way.'

The event proved to be a vibrant discussion session as people responded to the speakers. A female politician and running mate to the governorship aspirant of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) in Ogun State in the last general elections, Mrs. Jokotade Odebunmi debunked the claim that female politicians sleep around, and urged women to support other women in politics irrespective of their parties.

Mrs. Modupe Ogunbiyi, a banker urged women bosses not to lose their motherliness, even as they lead in their various offices.

The event however was not all hard talk. It featured an up coming comedian, Sage who had everyone laughing to his very funny jokes.

The climax was the award session, in which some notable women, who were making impact in their various callings, were honoured. Those honoured included Mrs. Ifueko Omogui-Okauru, ex-Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for revamping the internally generated revenue system of the country; Mrs. Elizabeth Aina-Scott, Zonal Director, NTA Lagos, who initiated innovative changes at NTA Channels 10 and 5, Lagos; and Mrs. Tinu Aina-Badejo of the Lagos Television. In the arts, a young playwright, actress and choreographer, Mrs Tosin Otudeko, who is the brain behind a new musical performance, the Heartbeat Musical, was also honoured for her work.