BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

15 takeaways from Ibukun Awosika ‘s speech at the UN – WIMBIZ women’s round table

Ibukun Awosika is the Founder/CEO The Chair Centre Group Co-Founder, WIMBIZ

A few of us have managed to chair organisations that were never chaired by women, and though it wasn’t easy, the girls have fought a good fight and they have stood and are changing the game. That is what is key.

For any country to progress, you cannot undermine 50 per cent of your population, it doesn’t matter how hard the other 50 per cent works, you will always underperform

The reason that the system will think the women are not critical enough is because women are playing in silos

The Nigerian woman is smart, beautiful, fashionable, driven, purposeful and has the capacity to take on the world without fear, that is not a tool you leave at home when you are building leadership

For a country that needs help, women are key to the success of Nigeria

WIMBIZ and others are vehicles bringing the silos power of women into a common power through which we can create the superpower that women need to change things around

Read also: UN WOMEN, WIMBIZ collaborating for advancement of women empowerment, gender parity

I have sat at tables and to make things work, you need the diversity of the voice, the integrity of women, the patience they bring to the table, their courage to change things and their ability to influence and influence positively, against all odds.

Men do not want to ruffle feathers or play outside of the table however when you need change, you must have the courage to play outside of the table or challenge it. That is the strength women bring to the table

It is embarrassing that in 2023, we are going to vote again, and there will not be a female at least vice presidential candidate. It’s an insult to how far Nigerian women have come

If there’s any help that UN Women will participate in, it’s in being a voice from the global view, but also being a local instigator of encouraging, building, empowering and moving the women who have the capacity, strength and interest to be able to participate

Women themselves are being pushed or attacked; women must understand what is our place and then how to rise to work together to protect her

As Chairman of First Bank, every time I said to myself, “To hell with this”, I remembered I wasn’t sitting for myself, and therefore chose to sit to continue, because, if it took 123 years for me to show up as the first female, you can imagine what it would cost not to make use of it to fight for the right things for the women

Wherever you sit, look behind you, how has it benefited other women constructively because sometimes, you can’t do what your friends want, but you must do what is strategically effective and positive for building the power of getting women to the table

As mothers of the nation, we must fight the united way, that is what this is all about

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