Chile, Kadaria, Abimbola, Oshodi, Others Discuss Challenges Facing Women, Proffer Solutions
The lawmaker representing Abeokuta North at the Ogun State House of Assembly, Modupe Mujota; Founder, Thistle Group, Ini Abimbola; Executive Secretary/CEO MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma; SSA (Admin) Lagos State, Titi Oshodi; MD, MODD Family (Real Estate), Chioma Okigbo and other dignitaries at the second edition of Woman And Half (WAH) have advised women not to play victim of circumstances, but take the bull by the horn to get things done, celebrate themselves and shatter the glass ceilings.
Speaking at the programme, the convener, Chile Frank-Udemgba, said: “I always tell people that I believe that women are not celebrated enough so, Woman and Half is an initiative that has come to put women on the platform where we can all celebrate ourselves, discuss issues that are pertinent to us and at the same time relax while doing it.
“Unlike other programmes that are business or entertainment-focused, this is a fusion of all, a place where we can network and realise that even in our struggles, we are women that can achieve and be successful in every ramification and that is the essence of the half that has come into it. As women, we are not enough to achieve all that we want to achieve so, it always feels like you need an extra part of you to achieve it and that is what A Woman and Half is all about.”
She added: “The good thing that has happened is that in the last one year, we have more recognition which means that people are beginning to accept and realise that there is a need for us to come together and that there is a need for us to stop tearing ourselves down.
“We live in a patriarchal society. In the quote, “a man’s world”, whether we accept it or not but the good thing about it is that where we were yesterday is not where we are today as women, we are moving maybe slowly but steadily. A lot of women are breaking the glass ceilings in every field. We are no longer sitting down and playing victims, what makes you a winner is when you overcome those challenges.
“I don’t believe in gender equality. When you say you are fighting for gender equality, it means that we are short-changing ourselves. A dog will not compete with a mouse because they are not on the same level, a mouse can only be the best mouse, a dog be the best dog but I will not be a mouse and try to bark like a dog so, as women, we should stop trying to be like the men, we should focus on being the best women, mother that we can be.
On her part, media entrepreneur, Kadaria Ahmed, said: “The society seems to be wary that if women become successful, that it might be a bad thing and I think the biggest fear has always been that family values will collapse. But on the contrary, you will find out that successful women help to support their families and when the husband is unable to take care of the family, they are able to step up. So, people need to understand that when they empower women, they are actually empowering themselves.
“There is nothing to be scared of because by nature we are nurturers, we are caregivers, we’ve been raised to look after everybody except ourselves, but that has to change because if we are going to look after everybody, we have to be okay ourselves and this is why events like this are important, where women come together, support each other, share our challenges, discuss solutions, and in that way we will be in the best position mentally, physically to be able to support our families and the rest of the society.
On what women can do to break barriers, the television host said, “we just have to support each other, get educated; education is really critical and that is really the first ticket to doing well.
Abimbola said: “There are still a lot of issues that even the society has to address, as it still doesn’t believe that women should rise up to be anything and that in itself is a problem. So, I always ask people, ‘why do you have a girl child, do you have them just to say you have a child but you don’t think that child can rise to be something? Every woman can rise up to be anything but they must be prepared to rise up to it and not allow the society to bring them down and we also have to talk to the society as well.
Advising women, she said: “A woman must find and know her value; there is nothing wrong with being a housewife if that makes you happy, but what value are you bringing there? You are a housewife but you are on the phone from morning till night, not contributing to the development of your children, to the environment, then there is a problem.
On the programme, she said: “A Woman and Half is a woman who has found her value, knows her worth, a woman that is able to do anything she sets her mind to do and bring values to the society.