The Women deliver colloquium, took place on the 5th of June, 2018 and was themed “Breaking down the Barriers to Gender Equality in Nigeria: An inter-generational dialogue” at the Access Bank head office, Victoria Island. A conference room on the tenth floor packed full with intellectuals, young politicians, Public health advocates, feminists, passionate Nigerians, pressmen and the likes boomed with thoughts, persuasions and passions of like minded individuals.
The event kicked off with an opening prayer and speech by Doctor Tunde Ajidagba, a Women Deliver young leader. Next in line, was an extensive session by access bank’s Omobolanle on the bank’s strides in empowering women, via the access women network, the bank’s support for gender equality evidenced by a 31.7% representation of women at the board level and other achievements of the bank. She ended by stating that beyond advocating for gender equality, women should do something unique to seize their place. A quite emotional and heartbreaking video was then shown to the participants of life experiences of women who had been disadvantaged, as they got into their motherhood roles.
The first panel discussion was on “Breaking down the Barriers to Improving Health and Wellbeing of Women and Girls in Nigeria. The panel discussion featured Dr. Amina Aminu, the technical director of ABT associates, Mr Adebisi Adeonipekun, founder of Light House International, Florida Uzoaru, CEO of slide safe and Jenifer Amadi , a reproductive health advocate and a Women Deliver young leader. The session was moderated by the well spoken Mr Abiola Oshunniyi and these passionate Nigerians laid down the way out of the imposing barrier on the health of women and girls. The audience also contributed, it was an enlightening session.
Next was the second panel discussion titled “Accelerating Impact of Economic Empowerment and Education Programs for Women and Girls in Nigeria.” The panelist were the likes of Tonia Chibuogwu of New Nigeria Foundation, Martin-Mary Falana, a global health advocate, Olutimehin Adegbeye, a writer, speaker and activist, Abiola Salami of Human Development Maven and Social transformation, and the session was moderated by Mr Nnamdi, an educationist. High level of intelligence and knowledge were in display during the panel discussion and the audience also contributed richly, as the economic and educational roles in gender equality was laid down.
The third and final panel discussion moderated by Dr. Tunde Ajidagba was on “Increasing the Participation of Women in Governance and Politics”. The panelists were Blessing Timidi, a sexual and reproductive health advocate, Gbemisola Osadua, proactive politician and CEO of Dynamix Impact, Rhoda Robinson, A gender development expert, and Abiola Oshunniyi, of parallel point. The panel session was a sizzling one that ignited strong reactions from the female members of the audience.
Excerpts emerged such as “gender equality is not one sided and should involve males”, “every successful woman either has no husband or has an extremely supportive husaband”, were on the lips of the participants as the closing remarks were given by Dr. Tunde Ajidagba. The main conference will hold from June 3rd to June 6th, 2019 at Vancouver, Canada where similar deliberations on a larger scale will take place. This was one year out from the conference to take place at Canada in 2017.