- Ambode, Fayose to bag honours as gender friendly governors
The stage is set for the 2017 edition of the MMS Plus Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame (WoFHoF) as the Transportation Minister, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan will grace the occasion in style.
While Amaechi will be the chief guest of honour, Alhassan will deliver the keynote address as the organisers raise the stakes in the female mentorship programme designed to increase female participation in governance globally.
President Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin will deliver the theme paper of the day tagged, ‘National Integration: Women’s Role in Leadership and Mentorship’, while the managing director of the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), Dr. Mrs Lucy Newman, will deliver the second paper titled, ‘Options and Strategies in Building and Deepening Financial Capacity for Women.’
Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Hon. Chief (Mrs.) Nkeiruka Onyejeocha will deliver a third paper at the conference session with focus on ‘Empowering Women for Governance and Leadership’ and this session will be more interactive.
Expected at the event as special guest of honours include: Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator, Binta Garba; Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Stella Ngwu and Her Excellency, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel, First Lady of Akwa Ibom State and Chairperson\Founder, Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Programme (FEYREP) as well as her Enugu counterpart, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi, who is also Chairperson\Founder Ugo Touch of Life Foundation(U-TOLF), Government House, Enugu State.
The event which is already generating responses nationwide will feature book presentation, induction of new Hall of Famers, inauguration of Council Members, Conference session, and award presentation to gender friendly governors, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.
Despite the promise of the ruling government to increase the participation of females in governance, only few governors have developed gender friendly policies which have seen the female gender encouraged to take up opportunities at various significant levels of governance in their states.
Lagos State instituted legal frameworks for dealing with gender-based violence, inequality against women and girls and has since begun their enforcement and awareness creation. The laws include: Child rights Law, Domestic Violence Law and gender policy, paternity leave rights, while Ekiti State has the most articulate gender based policy, which is protection of victims’ law in Nigeria. The law provides in Section 31 for a Gender-Based Violence Fund, which provides among other things, basic material support for victims of gender-based and their dependents affected by the violence; rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration of victims of gender-based violence; construction of shelters for victims of gender-based violence in different local government areas for training and re-integration.
Some of the notable women to be inducted into the 2017 WoFHoF include; SizaMzimela, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fly Blue Crane, South Africa; Sylvia Asana Owu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Shippers’ Authority.
Others are: Hon. Janet Adeyemi, President, Women in Mining (Nigeria); Priscillia Ogwemoh, Managing Partner, Olisa Agbakoba Legal; Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base(LADOL); FunkeAgbor, SAN, Senior Partner, Adepetun Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun (Barr. & Solicitor); Chief (Mrs.) Ijeoma Uche-Okoro, Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Transport; Dr. (Mrs.) Lucy S. Newman, Managing Director/CEO, Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC); Mrs. Chinyere Annie-Okonkwo, Director, Topwide Ventures Limited.
Kingsley Anaroke, the Founder of MMS WoFHoF Initiative, while addressing journalists in Lagos recently, said the initiative was to address poverty and manpower need in different sectors of the economy as well as address the gender gap in Africa with the preoccupation of bringing to the fore mentorship of younger generation of women in Africa by helping them accomplish their dreams.
Aside arresting employment challenges, he said MMS WoFHoF Initiative would also bridge the gap between the rich and the poor through match-making of the prospective African young female professionals and leaders with accomplished big-wigs who have recorded landmark success in various fields of specialisation in Aviation, Finance, Oil and Gas, Maritime and even the political field to serve as their mentors.
“We are trying to build the younger generations to be able to impact their environment. The mentorship does not just end in the classroom where you call people together talk to them and leave. We match make the mentors with the young women so that they train for at least six months. They can continue to communicate via the social media and other platforms and we make sure that they are under their mentor’s tutelage. This kind of apprenticeship system has more impact than the classroom training,” Anaroke said.
MMS WoFHoF Initiative is a registered non-governmental organisation founded with the aim of empowering women in the society through various means which include discovering and celebrating the sterling qualities and contributions of a select women in Africa for impact on the younger generation and their environment. Through its Women In Leadership and Career Empowerment Programme (WILCEP) Africa platform, career- making African women, young graduates, students and general public at large participate in mentorship and training programmes in various sectors of the economy to bridge the capacity building gap identified towards achieving the United Nations thresholds in the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
No fewer than 38 mentee-candidates have benefited from the WILCEP Africa scheme, with two given scholarship for entrepreneurial studies in China. The programme’s interest is principally in oil and gas sectors, maritime, aviation, finance and political leadership. This year’s induction, conference and award ceremony holds on October 26, at Federal Palace Hotels and Casino, Victoria Island, Lagos, by 10am prompt.
The event which will also feature a presentation of a book titled, Mentorship: The Link to Effective Leadership, will be chaired by Barr. Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi and Amb. Dr. Kema Chikwe as the Chief Host, while Barr. Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside as Special Guests of Honour.