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Accelerating women’s growth through empowerment for development 

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Founder, Be Inspired Empowerment Society of Nigeria (BIN), Chioma Obaro (middle) with members of the Central Admin Team; Nneka Okechukwu (left), Chinenye Ezekwugo, Abimbola Awonusi, Michelle Eleojo Musa, Boma Wari Pepple, Amarachi Nwachukwu, Chinenye Ikenna, Dr. Idee Charles, Jite Ellen, Chinenye Odigie, Doris Egungwu, Lady Adlynz Amadi, Esther Iheanacho and Chinenye Jerry at the group’s second Annual General Conference recently.<br />

An inclusive economic empowerment scheme and cultural practices for vulnerable groups such as women and youths are necessary to achieve sustainable development by every modern society.

Many world leaders and scholars argue that sustainable development is impossible without women’s contribution, even as the popular adage that says ‘when a woman is empowered, a whole nation is empowered’ effectively puts women at the base of development.

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According to Associate Professor, Dept. of Home Science, St. Theresa’s College for Women (Autonomous), Eluru, Andhra Pradesh in India, Dr. Kanikicherla Rani, empowerment of women is a necessity for the very development of a society, since it enhances both the quality and the number of human resources available for development. 
 
He pointed out that women’s empowerment and achieving gender equality was essential for society to ensure sustainable development of the country.
 
In addition to their economic and income-generating activities, women assume multi-faceted roles in society – as unpaid family workers, service providers in the communities, and mother/caretaker of the family.
 
Regrettably, in spite of their important contributions to socio-economic development, women suffer various constraints, which inhibit them from fully realising their innate potential for development.
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To reduce this and make women realise their potential to contribute their quota for the betterment of society, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Be Inspired Empowerment Society of Nigeria (BIN), made up of women is bridging the gap to address the norms by pointing out how women can see themselves as strong vessels, and also empower them to the level where most women got something doing to take care of themselves and those around them.
 
The group’s main aim is to share ideas, network, and promote their businesses, and inspire others through their success stories. They also give back to their communities through various charitable outreach programmes that are particularly targeted at women and children.
 
Involved in many laudable acts of charity in the last one year, the NGO, as part of their achievements and support from members were able to support victims of the #EndSARS protest with huge cash donations, secured scholarships for children of members of BIN who are widows, empowered widows, and single mothers, secured employment for members, granted interest-free loans and advice to beneficiaries of small scale businesses, settled hospital bills for new mothers held back due to financial constraints and provided financial support to victims of rape including counseling sessions with professional mental health consultants among other acts which had run into millions.
 
Founder of BIN, Chioma Obaro at the group’s second Annual General Conference held over the weekend said the group built strong savings culture for members through the ‘Esusu’ savings scheme and had grown to huge monthly savings, with accountability held to the highest esteem.
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She said: “Our hearts are filled with joy because we see a vista of greatness for our NGO and for each member of BIN. We intend to continue touching lives and empowering ourselves as well as the less privileged in our communities.  We aim to be the very best version of ourselves as women, wives, mothers, and entrepreneurs.”
 
In her presentation, a Researcher and Human Development Consultant/Transformational Speaker, Chinenye Jerry, who spoke on the theme, ‘Reinventing Yourself as a Woman of the Future’, said it was important as humans to constantly reinvent one’s self. 
 
She urged women to have the understanding that they are extremely unique and a masterpiece in God’s hands given the gifts they are blessed with to multitask.
 
According to her, in the hands of women lies the power, who was created to fill a gap, which is purpose.
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She said since it is the purpose that drives women to stay awake and be at alert, they must not grow complacent and comfortable because they were built for a purpose.
 
She hinted at five points what women must do at all time to get in connection with their purpose.
 
She urged that women must work on their personal development, never stop reading, be financially savvy, never compare, and never quit.
 
“Women are superheroes. Every woman must learn and equip herself with new things every day. A woman must have a budget and be prudent. A woman must not be financially down as your financial well-being must be set. Never blame yourself or look back at mistakes. You need to dust yourself and move forward; hold on to your past and control your future, never compare yourself with anyone because the comparison is a confidence killer while you lose automatically when you quit,” she said.

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Also, Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nonnistics and Consulting Firm, Gnebbb Projects Limited, Nonye Goodie-Obi, who took the women on ‘The Journey to Entrepreneurship’, urged them that before they quit their paid jobs, they must follow some steps and put some factors into consideration.
 
Goodie-Obi, an ex-banker, urged women to consider their thought process, put their passion to test, determine their exit point, write their business plan and strategy before quitting, set up a protected financial cash flow and they should never mock their dreams.
 
Affirming that health is wealth, a Consultant Public Health Physician and Executive Director, Policy, Research and Programmes Delivery, Bloom Public Health, Chioma Ejekam, took the participants through steps towards having a healthier, happier, and longer life.
 
She took the women through how to stay healthy through mental, social, and physical wellbeing.
 
Other side attractions were awards presentations, raffle draw, and BIN Project Launch, which offers scholarships to children of widows of BIN members.

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