United Nations partners WIMBIZ on gender equality

By Oghale Mafuru

In furtherance of its vision to promote gender inclusivity and equality, the United Nations is partnering with the Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), to address gender disparity and promote equitable representation of women in governance and leadership.

This was the focal point of the round table dialogue between representatives of the United Nations and principal members of WIMBIZ today at the prestigious Nordic Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Co-Founder, Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), Ms. Ifeyinwa Ighodalo while delivering her goodwill message stated that the organisation instituted to advocate and facilitate women empowerment and emancipation has over the year inspired and led conversations around equal representation and gender equality as a catalyst for nation building.

She said: “The idea of WIMBIZ was one that made a unique impression then and yet still very relevant today. We were committed then and also now to harnessing our collective resources, skills and network to inspire and empower women particularly into leadership positions. The quest to attain gender parity has not been an easy one as you can all attest to. WIMBIZ has been involved over the years and together, we have raised the next generation and contributed to success story in and out of the organisation”

Commenting on the partnership with the United Nations, she stated that:” The greatest success story for us and for WIMIZ is the power of relationships. Partnerships have been an integral part of the work that WIMBIZ has done over the years. We are particularly grateful to the United Nations Women as we continue to look forward to a continued partnership working together towards gender equality, equity and parity in Nigeria and around the world”.

On her part, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria & ECOWAS who gave a startling statistics of gender related issues affecting women in Nigeria while speaking on “Situation of Women in Nigeria, challenges and the work of UN Women in Nigeria”, posited that it is imperative for all hands to be on deck to combat practices such as early marriage, genital mutilation, rape and other sexual related offences that has maligned and stifled the growth of women in the country. According to her, the private sector partnership is vital to accelerated gender equality especially in workplaces.

“It is often said that evil prevails when the good men and women do nothing and become accomplices. So, if we do nothing, we are still going to have higher maternal and child mortality rate, unfavorable policies and laws, harmful traditional practices will persist, poverty and increased violence against women. The statistics we have about violence is low because many women don’t report. It will also reduce the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP. Nigeria’s economic performance would have gone about 25% up if we could solve the problem of gender equality by removing structural limitations for women to access resources, finance and education so that we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG faster”.

Dr, Chukwuemeka Onyimadu, UN Women National Economist who buttressed the need for private sector partnership to drive holistic advocacy and deliberate structural framework that enhances equal participation and representation of women as well as jettison practices that have hitherto negate women empowerment and development.

While calling for more involvement and engagement, the UN representative urged WIMBIZ members to support the United Nations programmes which are focused on the attainment of gender inclusivity as part of its Sustainable Developmental Goals.




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