Organizers and participants at the MMS Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame ,WoFHoF, has called on Nigerians to reconsider its political setting by giving women greater political participation and giving them the chance to emerge president, arguing that the trend has become global.
This is coming on the heels of the recognition and adoption of nine women in the maritime industry into the MMS WoFHoF, on the basis of their distinguished career pursuit and contributions to the mentorship of younger women. The inductees include Mary Hamman, Ifeoma Adanma Ezedinma, Mrs. Khadijat Sheidu-Shabi, Barr. Obiageli Ogbenyanu Obi and Folake Oladapo Soji-George. Others are Barr. Nneka Ogochukwu Obianyor, Barr. Nana Yakubu, Macfoy Rollens and Dr. Mrs. Felicia Chinwe Mogo.
The non-governmental group also called on the Federal Government to introduce a gender character policy akin to the Federal Character principle to reflect the gender sensitivity of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) on gender equality with 40 per cent employment opportunity reservation for women in both public and private sector
Founder of MMS WoFHoF, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke who made this call in a welcome address to mark the 2019 MMS Hall of Famers’Day and Night of Empowerment to commemorate the International Women’s Day and the World Maritime Day, said the time has come for all segment of the Nigerian society to raise the clamour for woman president beyond mere sentiment.
“The world today has changed the political landscape with women getting in the driver’s seat. It’s moving around, from Europe to America, to the Middle East and Africa. Neigbhouring Liberia has produced a woman president, and everywhere, the women seem to be increasing the political value system. We can do it in Nigeria”, he said
He said introducing a gender character policy was the way to go as Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in advancement of gender equality. Anaroke noted that the MMS WoFHoF initiative believed that the advocacy for gender parity required concerted actions by all the stakeholders if the mission must be achieved adding that it calls for practical actions and strategies, beyond mere sloganeering.
“Part of our strategy to bridge the gender gap is the dedication of a day to celebrate our Hall of Famers and remind them of their obligation as role models to pull the younger women or the less privileged up by equipping them with knowledge and skills as well as other wherewithal.
“Today, there is a special recognition for nine Indomitable Maritime Amazons, women with beauty and brain, women with intimidating credentials, who have risen and are rising with different leadership and value trajectory. They have threaded where many brave men feared to thread and came out victorious. They are waiting to take their turn in the MMS hall of Fame, where integrity and value are personified.
“Our leadership studies have shown that the call for gender parity is more reasonable and feasible when tied to economic empowerment, knowledge and skills acquisition. This informed our Vision 5W-250,000, which is conceived to empower 50,000 women yearly for a period of five years. Under this scheme, business grants are given to women evidently in need of funds to grow their business; scholarships are given to the deserving people while regular quarterly business management seminars are given to micro business owners with quick dispensable capital under the MMS WoFHoF Micro Credit Scheme. We have tried this and it is working. So, we call on you to support this vision and encourage more beneficiaries to join the credit net”, he said.
Also speaking, Chairperson of the occasion and Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman stated that the Authority had chosen to identify with the event because it believed that any little initiative that was designed to encourage the potentials and capacity of women should be supported.
Usman who was represented at the event by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Mr. Adams Jatto added that the theme of the event ‘Innovating Passion for Sustainable Living’is apt and drives home the concept of equality for women, which recognizes their potentials and their roles as major agents of positive change.
She assured that NPA was fully committed to the welfare of women in general and women in maritime sector in particular as demonstrated substantially in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
The Managing Director called on women in all areas of endeavours to always prove their worth wherever they found themselves, adding: “Women should also seize the opportunity offered through women empowerment programmes to better their lot in life. Once again, I say congratulations to all recipients of today’s award and to the organizers of this great event.”