YWCA of Nigeria participated at this year’s Women’s Power Lunch, organized by Murtala Muhammed Foundation. The event with the theme: Women in Solidarity…a new paradigm for inclusion was chaired by His Excellency, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday 28th July 2016 at Habour Point Event Centre, VI, Lagos.

The Guest Speaker of the event, Her Excellency, Dr. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi (2012-14) reiterated among other things, the need for economic empowerment of women and promoting women’s leadership as key factors in the drive for empowering women. She stated that economic empowerment of women, does not only improve their financial status but also gives women voice, authority, power and freedom to make decisions concerning themselves. Speaking on ensuring sustainable empowerment, she identified factors which include:

  1. Implementation of Affirmative action – the focus of which will be appointing deserving women in positions of leadership
  2. Formulation of deliberate policies to support girl-child education
  3. Formulation of legal policies to remove barriers to women’s empowerment and promotion of women’s rights by:
  • Using international instruments like CEDAW, African Union Charter on the Rights of Women, and Beijing Platform for action etc.
  • building women in solidarity groups for equality
  • introduction of gender quotas where necessary

Dr. Banda also brought to fore some of the challenges women in leadership positions face like – name calling, harassment and other forms of abuses, most of which also discourage women from actively engaging in politics or seeking elective offices. The National President, Lady Chikwue Ochiagha, led the delegation of 20 members on behalf of YWCA of Nigeria to the event, which afforded a great platform to stand in solidarity with other women/ women’s organizations and for networking with other CSOs and VIPs in attendance.