The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
--- Alice Walker
I feel more than honoured to stand before all the eminent personalities present here today and play a role so challenging and with a high sense of responsibility.
I stand before you today in this wonderful and timely annual event with the task of preparing our minds on the things to expect in the course of the programme.
I wish to express my profound gratitude to the organizers of this summit for given me an opportunity to also contribute my quota to the collective and global march for women empowerment and gender positive mental reasoning.
May I crave your indulgence with the following information piece about our wonderful Country Nigeria: a country with an inherent practice of confining the woman to the kitchen irrespective of her qualification; a country where the woman’s beauty depends on the man’s pocket; a country where the woman is often relegated to the background for no justifiable reason.
A country where a woman’s entire life depends on the man, etc.
I deliberately pricked your psyche with these stark realities in order to awaken your consciousness on the need why your focus on women empowerment and gender equality should not only be viewed from the area of human rights, but also because they are a pathway to achieving sustainable development.
From the theme of this year’s summit, I believe the objective of the event is to provide a more powerful view of women and their role in life, to motivate women to step out of limiting self-beliefs that keep them stuck in roles of lack of power, submissiveness, victimhood, abuse and lack of self worth.
It is from this self – worth and empowerment that you can look at the world as a place where you can freely express who you are and surround yourselves with people who honour, love, and respect you, as you honour, love, and respect yourselves.
The golden rule is to honour yourself. By honoring yourself and treating yourself with respect, you set the stage up for others to treat you with respect.
Be that as it may, I will like to aptly state that you must immediately commence a conscious move and new ways to constructively engage and inspire yourselves to move out of excusable situation and move into the fullness of who you are as a human being.
I also will implore you all to embrace this event and place high premium on all that will be communicated, because occasions like this constitute an organized effort at empowering you for life’s challenges, and to remove the toga of reliance on your male counter parts, a situation that has often led to eroding the dignity of womanhood.
The various topic of discuss have been meticulously selected to address the broader subject matter.
The long run goal of all these is to ensure that women have a real voice in all governance institutions: from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision –making, more so, influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families and countries.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me to end my welcome address with the statement of an author, Margaret Sanger, “women must accept; she must challenge.
She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
Once again I welcome you all to this occasion.
Thank you and God bless.
Eko oni baje o!!!