Stakeholders, traditional rulers and concerned Nigerians yesterday at the second edition of Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo Foundation lecture in Lagos reiterated the need for increased efforts geared towards the creation of an enabling environment to ensure that women in the country realise their full potentials in politics and business.
According to them, women are fundamental and critical to economic growth and development, adding that when empowered and enabled, can grow a nation’s GDP exponentially.
They include Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; former Nigerian Ambassador to The Netherlands, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, Ada Osakwe; Senator Daisy Danjuma; Chief Executive Officer, Enviro Gro Farms, Nkiru Okpareke; Wife of Ooni of Ife, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola Ogunwusi and presidential aspirant of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, among others.
Awosika, the keynote speaker, who spoke on the theme, “Nigerian Women and Leadership: Challenges and Prospects,” said for the country to move forward and experience the desired level of socio-economic transformation, it must stop putting aside its women in policy formulation and decision-making.
Bucknor-Akerele expressed worries that despite the high number of women participating in political activities, only few of them are given opportunity to be voted into various political positions in the country.
In her welcome address, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, the convener of the event, said there is no force more powerful than when a woman is determined to rise.
She said the lecture was aimed at doing justice to the legacy of the matriarch of the Awolowo family, adding that it is important to take a critical look at the trajectory of Nigerian women on all sectors, including political, business and entrepreneurial, to ascertain the kind of progress expected of women in the 21st century.