The importance of collaboration, networking, re-strategizing and digital access has been identified as essential to repositioning women for greater impact ahead of the 2027 General elections.
These were submissions from speakers at the Voice of Women Conference 2023, organized by the Voice of Women Empowerment Centre, an initiative of Women Radio, and supported by MacArthur Foundation.
While delivering his goodwill message, the Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, who was represented by Dr. Mrs. Salma Anas, the Special Adviser to the President on Health, noted that the success of every nation is tied to the contributions of women.
Dr. Anas stressed that the Tinubu-led administration is focused on empowering and giving equal opportunity to women.
She cited FG’s plan to vaccinate about 8 million girls on leading causes of cervical cancer, stressing that the government is interested in the well-being of women and girls in Nigeria.
She thereafter called for more collaboration among women, adding that “let the voice of women be the voice of respect and dignity.”
On her part, Prof Olufolake Abdulrazaq, the Chairperson, Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum, said there is no doubt that women are underrepresented in many key positions, but it is important to begin to support the inclusion of the most vulnerable women across all spheres of governance.
Prof Abdulrazaq buttressed that, “as stakeholders, it is imperative for us to promote the participation of women in all spheres.
“We need to encourage the development of women in our community and also empower women in the digital technology space,” she added.
In her speech, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the VOW 2023 Chairperson called for more commitments from women in all spheres, regardless of the position they occupy.
Erelu Fayem said “regardless of the platform we occupy, we all have a role to play, starting from wherever we believe we have influence.
“We need to position women in leadership who are competent, capable, passionate, and knowledgeable enough to drive agenda for change.”
The 7th Voice of Women Conference and Awards featured speakers from across Africa and Ireland, UK. They include; Her Excellency Jewel Taylor, Vice President of Liberia; Gov Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq, Executive Governor of Kwara State; Hon. Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise, Namibia; Dr. Margaret Karungaru, Commissioner, National Gender and Equality Commission, Kenya; and Yemi Adenuga, Councillor Meath County Council, Ireland.
Also present were First Ladies of Ebonyi, Osun, Sokoto, and Kebbi States. The conference featured a fireside chat where fellows of the Women Radio Centre; Blessing Oladunjoye of BONews Service, Hadiza Abubakar of BUK TV and Radio, Grace Obike of the Nation, and Mariya Suleiman of BUK TV and Radio. The conference was convened by Ms Toun Okewale-Sonaiya, the CEO of Women Radio 91.7fm.