NAWOJ Calls for more Women Involvement in Leadership Positions

The Nigeria Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ), Lagos Chapter, has called for more participation of women in leadership roles.

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The association made the call on Friday in Lagos during the celebration of International Women’s Day 2024, with the theme: “Inspire Inclusion” organised by Wikimedia foundation.

The theme for 2024 IWD is : “Investing in women: Accelerate progress”.

Speaking on the theme, Mrs Toro Oladapo, Former National President of NAWOJ, said that women’s inclusion in policy making and leadership roles was important for sustainable development.

“We need more percentage of women in leadership roles and policy formation.

“Their inclusion remains important if Nigeria is to achieve equality, sustainable development, peace, and democracy,” she said

Oladapo pointed out that there were still some stereotypes that prevented women from realising their full potential.

“International Women’s Day is to appreciate what we have done to our families, organisations and nation.

“We must encourage inclusion of women in all sectors including those from marginalise groups, they have significant contribution.

“We have a lot to do on policies that will make the environment conducive to inspire the girl child.

“Insecurity, domestic violence and other vices are discouraging women from achieving their full potential, ” she said.

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According to Oladapo, social, cultural, and religious beliefs have kept women in the background.

“We are believed to be seen and heard at the background, but we are going to remove all the stereotypes, we will not give up, we will project the women that can represent us, ” she said.

She, therefore, urged women to support their fellow women in leadership roles.

“Do not pull your fellow women down, instead give them a helping hand when they are falling short of expectations,’” she said.

Also, NAWOJ Chairperson, Lagos State Chapel, Mrs Adeola Ekine, during her opening remarks, advocated for gender equality in every sector.

“NAWOJ is advocating for gender equality in every sector mostly in the media.

“With our collaboration with Wikimedia, we want to breach the gender gap in information dissemination.

“We want to contribute to the creation of a more inclusive media space where women’s achievement and contribution are celebrated and recognised.

“Through this symposium, we have the opportunity to explore how we can leverage on digital platform to amplify women voices and promote gender equality.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, let us recommit ourselves to the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“Let us continues to work together to the world where every woman voice will be heard,” she said.

Ekine, who was represented by the Vice-Chairperson, NAWOJ, Lagos State Chapel, Mrs Bunmi Yekini, appreciated Wikimedia for its partnership and support in organising the symposium.

The Executive Director, Wikimedia, Nigeria, Mrs Omolayo Ogunsiji, said that women inclusion was very important in the life of media.

According to her, Wikimedia User Group Nigeria has been involved in several advocacy programs to promote Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project and to bridge the gender gap on the internet.

“We want to learn and read more about women who are doing exploit on Wikimedia.

“Many women are doing excellently well but they are not known because nobody is there to write their stories.

“Wikimedia is there to change the narrative, woman can no longer be pushed to the back anymore.

“We want to include women in different professions in Nigeria including the less privileged and the disabled,” Ogunsiji said.

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