REPORT ON THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CONFERENCE HOSTED BY THE WOMEN OF ESSENCE FOUNDATION ON SATURDAY MARCH 8TH , 2014-05-14
VENUE- NECA HOUSE, PLOT A2, HAKEEM BALOGUN STREET, CBD, ALAUSA, IKEJA, LAGOS STATE.
TIME- 10.00AM -1.00PM
The 2nd edition of the International Women’s Day Conference hosted by the Women of Essence
Foundation (WOMEF) with the theme ‘WOMEN AS CATALYSTS FOR A CORRUPTION FREE
SOCIETY’ was held on Saturday March 8th 2014.
The Women of Essence Foundation a faith based NGO with the main objective of helping women discover, pursue and fulfil God’s purposes for their lives, also encourages women to contribute to making the society a better place. This they do through forums such as this conference to discuss issues affecting the society and the roles that women can play to bring an end. To this effect, men and women from all walks of life gathered together at one of the meeting halls of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) office complex at Central Business District (CBD), Alausa Ikeja, to discuss the ills of corruption, and how as women we can bring changes.
Corruption, a societal evil that is felt by all, mostly affects women -who are mothers of the nation. Present at the conference, was an array of seasoned women leaders who had graciously accepted to speak at the program. These women came and shared from their vast experiences, their views, and collective hope for a corruption free Nigeria.
The vice chairperson of Women of Essence Foundation Mrs. Ronke Osikoya gave the welcome address presenting an overview of the programme of the day. Afterwards, the founder and coordinator of Women of Essence Foundation – Mrs Omokorede Fasoro gave a short presentation on ‘The Costs of corruption’ presenting facts and figures to support her talk. She gave some of the effects of corruption as- the reduction in quality and quantity of education, poor funding in the health sector leading to increase in maternal and infant mortality rate, depletion of our national wealth, misplaced priorities, increase in crime rate and so many others.
Giving the keynote address was Dr. (Mrs) Joe Okei Odumakin, award winning civil rights activist and President of Women Arise for Change Initiative. She is also a strong advocate of integrity and transparency in governance , and someone who is always bold to declare this wherever she goes. She talked about women being bold enough to speak out when things are not done right, since they are the life wire of any society.
Also present was veteran journalist and Editor in Chief/Publisher of the life changing Today’s Woman magazine (TW) –Mrs Adesuwa Onyenokwe who has also been an advocate for women through her popular TV programmes for several years. She challenged women to pay attention to doing the right things especially in the presence of their children and when nobody is watching. Mrs. Lola Okanlawon, an entrepreneur and President of NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) an organization with a vision to build generations of successful women entrepreneurs, also shared her thoughts from the business angle. She encouraged participants to embrace integrity in business and all areas of life, and being bold to let people know the values you stand for as a person.
An education consultant- (Mrs) Foluso Atilola who has had years of experience working in schools and school owners, also spoke on how corruption affects the education sector. She narrowed this down to the major responsibility of the parents, who are the first teachers of the children at the home front. According to her raising children and parenting should be done purposefully and with a vision of producing outstanding citizens so as to get the right results. Bringing a spiritual flavour to the conference was Pastor (Mrs) Ruth Essien, President of Women After Revival Ministry, who inspired every woman present to be bold and to stand up to fight against corruption in all sectors of the nation in the place of prayers. In her words, “Women carry in their womb the destinies of nations, and so must be responsible for these nations”.
Afterwards, plagues and gifts were presented to the speakers on behalf of WOMEF board of trustees by the founder Mrs Omokorede Fasoro. Women who had made the commitment to come on board as WOMEF mentors were also appreciated during the conference. At the end of the programme, the general secretary of the Women of Essence Foundation- Mrs Bukola Kolajo gave the vote of thanks and also used the opportunity to share the vision and mission of the foundation with everyone present.
There were about one hundred people (including men and women) in attendance who greatly commended the efforts of the organizers. Most of the participants declared that the conference was awesome, eye opening, mind blowing, and educative. Thanks also to the super anchoring skills of the MC – Mrs. Funke Adio – PRO of Women of Essence Foundation. The conference was indeed a great success. We look forward to another great time at International Women’s day 2015!