By Zacheaus Somorin
African women gathered recently in Lagos to brainstorm on women empowerment in Africa, especially in Nigeria and Ghana. The stakeholders’ forum which was organized by The Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA) had in attendance discussants and panelists cutting across different sectors.
CPPA is an independent non-partisan public policy think-tank committed to rigorous research through which public policies and processes are examined, supported and best practices disseminated. The CPPA aims to help Sub-Saharan governments and their agencies realise the goal of rapid development and a prosperous future for their citizens.
While speaking at the event, the General Secretary of West Africa Women Association (WAWA) and founder, Hauk Explorer Schools, Lagos, Mrs Hauwa Shodeinde, pointed out that empowering women across the continent has become critical hence the need for appropriate orientation of the female child.
She pointed out that for women to be sustainably empowered, there was need for correct educational background. ‘We have problem with our education. Our educational system needs reform. Because foundation matters, educating female child must be tailored towards economic independence’.
As against general perception that husbands may impede their wives progress, she explained that woman need their spouses in their business involvements, saying with team work, women would be able earn the family’s respect and support.
While advising participants on entrepreneurship, she posited that women don’t need much money to be entrepreneur, saying with little savings and smart strategy, small businesses can be established and if well managed, would become big in the long run.
For Mrs Olanrewaju Oniyitan, Founder and CEO of W-holistic Business Solution (W-HBS), rural women in Nigeria need more help and support than their urban counterparts; pointing out that gender is not all about male and female, but about opportunities created. She stated that rural woman eke out their daily survival precariously through farming, saying more should be done in taking them out of lumpen poverty.