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International Women's Day 2017: Onyema, Awe make case for Gender Integration in Nigeria

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017  8.00pm/Proshare WebTV 

The CEO of the Nigeria Stock Exchange Mr Oscar Onyema and First Nigerian Female Professor of History, Prof Bolanle Awe have called for concerted efforts to gender integration in Nigeria. 

They made the assertion at  the NSE powered symposium to mark the 2017 International Women’s Day Celebration, at the exchange house in Marina, Lagos. 

Focusing on the theme “Transcending Gender Limitations”, the CEO of the exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema in his opening remarks noted that the Nigeria stock exchange on its part had a strong policy for gender equality and balance. 

According to him “In the NSE, we have an employment ratio from female to male of 1:2”, which underscores the value the exchange has for women empowerment and gender equality. 

Speaking further, Mr  Onyema  said “Reinforcing our commitment to eliminate gender inequality, we will be launching an Economic Dividend of Gender Equality (EDGE) campaign aimed at educating our listed companies and dealing members on the significance and economic importance of bridging gender equality”. 

He also stated that “As a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSEI), the Exchange is playing its part to accelerate the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030”.   

Giving the keynote presentation for the event, Nigeria’s first female Professor of History Prof(Mrs) Bolanle Awe, OFR that the push for gender equality and its possibility, can be steered from 3 levels, namely; the international, national and the women.  At the moment she said only 50% of women are represented in the global workforce, compared to 77% of the men. 

Assessing the Nigerian situation, Prof Awe was of the view that the government was not showing the required commitment, to drive gender equality in the executive and legislative arms. She cited an example in political participation where between 1999-2007, the number of female Senators, were 3 compared to 106 male Senators. 

She called for strong collaborative efforts amongst the women, in other to boost participation  in politics, economic activities and the  policy making process. 

The History Professor stressed that it was time for the Nigerian women to take bold steps, in participating in vital and critical sectors of the economy, like Agriculture and Information Communications and Technology (ICT). 

On the challenges facing women that needs to be addressed, she identified poverty, access to healthcare service, child marriage, human rights violation, poor education, low level of political participation and traditional issues like female genital mutilation. 

The event also featured a panel session discussing “Transcending Gender Limitations” with Mrs Ronke Shofekun, Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Ogun State, Ms Tinuade Awe, General Counsel, NSE  Ms Pai Gamde, Acting Head Corporate Services Division, NSE , Ms Ngozi Edozien Founder and MD Invivo Partner Limited and Mrs Betty Irabor, Publisher of Genevieve Magazine, moderated by Mrs Mojisola Adeola Council Secretary, NSE. 

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