Women from various walks of life converged on Ibadan, Oyo State, last weekend to deliberate on the importance of boldness in the fight for gender equality and the role women play in the home, society, and nation building. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE who was at the conference organised by the Human of Substance Empowerment Initiative (HOSEI), reports that the women in commemoration of the 2017 International Women’s Day have decided to be bold in the course of fighting for parity.
As women the world over celebrates this year’s edition of the International Women’s Day last week, career woman and women in business came together at the weekend in Ibadan to hold a seminar in commemoration of the celebration and to deliberate on issues that will add value to womanhood and how to be bold for change in making the world a better place.
The seminar put together by a nongovernmental organization; the Human of Substance Empowerment Initiative (HOSEI), founded by a lawyer and right activist, Abiade Olanwale Abiola, at the Conference Room of Budget Hotel in Ring road aimed at teaching women how to bring out the best in their daily activities and the art of using their God given talents to make a difference.
The seminar had three lectures as well as an interactive session all geared at bringing out the value in womanhood; the evolution in the rights of women, the education of the girl child, gender parity and the role of feminism in making a difference.
The women were encouraged to break barriers that stand in their way and add value to themselves in a feminine way. Speakers encouraged them to defy all odds in contributing to their society and the world at large and not see advocacy for parity as a competition between the genders.
One of the speakers, Ifeoluwa Adeoti Adeagbo, a career fitness expert was emphatic in her lesson that feminism is not a competition with men but an orientation that women have what it takes to achieve greatness in a feminine way as gender is not a limitation but an asset. According to her, a woman can multitask and create diverse methods of getting tasks done in a legitimate way while using their brain, adding that most women fail to utilize their potentials.
Also speaking, Mrs Edem Ossai, an activist encouraged women to place premium value on themselves and introduce justice in child training as the fight for gender parity starts from the home and from parents. She explained that women need to interrogate cultures and avoid stereotypes as these factors serve as the major hindrance to achieving greatness.
In her speech, the HOSEI founder, Barrister Abiade emphasized that while there is an improvement in the way women attend to issues of gender parity, there is still too much to do especially in the area of reorientation, social and behavioural change, adding that it is time for women to stand together against abuses.
According to her, being bold for change requires women to stand together and be each others’ supporter and greatest fan, adding that it is common for women to be the first to attack a fellow woman that decides to be bold for change.
“We need to stop being our own worst enemies and stop taking feminism or calls for gender parity as a competition. It is mainly a call for equal treatment and respect knowing that women have a lot to contribute to nation building. It is time to champion our cause by ourselves as we can forge a greater advancement for women when we understand what we are advocating.
“It is time to take ourselves as one by taking a bold and pragmatic step where ever we are to accelerate gender parity. Remember, being bold does not make you ungodly or deviant. When we are bold, we can put our children on the right path and influence the larger society; every child deserves equal treatment no matter the gender. We need to collectively run with the vision if we are to make a difference,” Abiade stated.
The women used the opportunity to reflect on the progress made and further encourage themselves not to be discouraged and never allow themselves to be looked down upon as useless beings because it is when everyone is involved that the business of nation building can faced and significant results achieved.