International Women’s Day: Industry experts advocate mentoring, women empowerment

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Some industry experts have stressed the need for more mentoring, empowerment and active participation of women in leadership positions to enhance their socio-economic status.

The experts expressed their views in separate interviews on Friday in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, as the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

They said that it was imperative for governments to review laws, bias and issues that limited the ability of women to thrive in the society.

The International Women’s Day is an annual celebration held on March 8 in most countries of the world.

It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions – whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

The campaign theme of 2019 celebration is Balance for Better.

Mrs Agnes Shobajo, the Chairperson, Women’s Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that it was vital to increase participation of women in leadership positions, especially in politics:

“The number of women in the National Assembly is not as much as it should be. Having just seven female Senators in the ninth Assembly is not satisfactory.

“We need more women to hold political positions so that they can articulate our issues and ensure our voices are heard in policy formulations.

“We have a lot of women in leadership positions across the various sector, and they are doing quite well in creating space for more women to climb the ladder of success,”  she said.

Shobajo said that the budgetary allocation to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development should be increased to allow the ministry carry out more programmes that would impact lives of more women.

Mrs Margaret Olele, the Chief Executive, American Business Council (ABC), said that more female leaders should be willing to mentor other women in their various fields.

She said that leveraging the experience of those already established in respective fields of endeavour would ensure that more women were empowered to succeed, thus building a sustainable society.

Mrs Rosemary Onyebigwa, the Founder, Thrive Women Support, said that the country required a socio-cultural shift in evolving legislation and programmes that would ensure that women thrived.

She said that gender equality was difficult not only in Nigeria, but globally, and urged female leaders to lead the discussions that discriminate against women, especially at the work places.

Onyebigwa urged government at all levels to also create more opportunities and initiatives that would empower women to boost employment and financial dependence.

Amaka E. Nliam