Regroup, Reboot, Remove The Mask

Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Founder, AboveWhispers; delivering the Keynote address at the 2016 SHE Forum Africa in Abuja
Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, Founder, AboveWhispers; delivering the Keynote address at the 2016 SHE Forum Africa in Abuja

Keynote Address delivered

by

Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi,

Founder, AboveWhispers,

at the SHE Forum Africa 2016

Nigerian Women: Endangered? At war?

  • 53% of Nigeria’s 1.9m internally displaced population are women
  • 60% + of Nigerian women live in rural areas with minimal access to safe water, electricity and access to healthcare
  • 60-80% women in the agricultural labour force -most women do not own the land they farm
  • 560 deaths per 100,000 live births though improving, still makes for one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world
  • One third of Nigerian women suffer from at least one form of gender based violence
  • 6% Number of women in the National Assembly
  • 0% Number of women in the SHA of 8 states in Nigeria

Nigerian Women: Endangered?

Nigeria features poorly on most global indicators measuring gender equality and women’s empowerment.(2015 World Bank GEM 158/177, 118th in the 2014 WEF Global Gender Gap report. Nigeria features as one of the 20 worst countries in the world for women alongside Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, DRC, Yemen, etc)

 
HOW DID WE GET HERE?

  • Gender Equality and Women’s Rights not taken seriously
  • Culture, tradition and religion always used as an excuse
  • Violent conflict, poverty and exclusion
  • Religious Fundamentalism: this has seriously weakened women’s rights and rolled back gains
  • Inadequate numbers of women in decision-making

CONVERTING GAINS TO LOSSES

  • Weak Gender Machineries: Inadequate financial and human resources
  • Women and decision-making: Women still a political sub-text
  • Education of girls: Sextortion is now the norm
  • Social media and freedom of expression: Negative impact on women’s and girls
  • Invisibility of women’s contributions and accomplishments (Informal economy, Agriculture, Politics, Philanthropy,etc)
  • Shrinking resources for women’s rights organising

Nigerian Women: Hope?

  • Existence of legal and policy frameworks to protect women
  • Number of girls and women in formal education
  • Increasing number of women in the corporate sector
  • Women as leaders of tertiary institutions
  • Women in political participation
  • Women in entrepreneurship and business
  • Women in popular culture

WHAT WE NEED TO DO: REGROUP

  • Legislation that domesticates our international commitments i.e the GEOPs Bill (Includes AA)
  • Effective implementation of policies and frameworks i.e the VAPP Act and the National Gender Policy.
  • More feminists in decision making positions
  • Use the power of our networks to leverage social and political capital
  • Engage in political processes
  • Engage men as champions such as religious leaders, traditional rulers, legislators.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO: REBOOT

  • Stop investing in the sustenance of Patriarchy. Refuse to propagate attitudes and beliefs that undermine the rights of women
  • Understand and manage diversity
  • Read widely and have an open mind
  • Write often to raise your voice
  • Bring up your children differently
  • Serve as an example and challenge those around you
  • Develop a progressive understanding of religious texts

PRACTICE AND PREACH SELF-CARE

  • Acquire financial literacy skills for economic independence
  • Document your experiences and achievements
  • Prioritise health issues
  • Pay attention to grooming and etiquette – this will help boost your confidence
  • Plan for life transitions wherever possible

REMOVE THE MASK – STEP UP, STEP OUT

  • What is your leadership agenda?
  • How can you use your power where you are now?
  • What legacy do you want to leave behind?
  • Who can help you?
  • Who can you help?
  • What can we do more of? (the software of living, music, food, dance, talk, friendships)
  • What can we do less of or stop altogether? (trying to be perfect and pretending we can ‘have it all’. Everything comes at a price)

                BE YOUR SISTER’S KEEPER

Sign up for Updates

4 Responses to Regroup, Reboot, Remove The Mask

  1. Femi Diipo October 8, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Impressive

    Reply
  2. D'apoet October 8, 2016 at 10:31 am

    There’s hope after all, if all these are practiced then I think it’ll be real soon

    Reply
  3. maveedah October 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Alarming how women are always at the receiving end of the negatives of the society…I hope for a CHANGE

    Reply
  4. mary October 8, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    And i think most women belittle themselves…they dont want to be seen as over doing things and most are scared of the plenty responsibilities that comes with it…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of new posts by email.