The importance of investing in women and the girl child cannot be overemphasized. When a woman is educated, she is more likely to make sure that all her children get education. Beyond education however, economic empowerment of the woman is imperative for the betterment of society. It is with this in mind that Professor Yinka Omorogbe and her colleagues came together to organize the first Edo Women Conference at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
Edo State is one of the states in Nigeria that is known for a high rate of child and human trafficking. Lots of girls are often sold as sex slaves and taken to foreign countries including Italy. This conference was pivotal to changing the mindset of Edo women.
One area that was particularly pertinent was the involvement of women in Edo politics. In an interview with the Guardian, this is what Professor Omorogbe had to say:
“We are trying to change mindsets and encourage women to know and remember that they make up half of the society. With their numerical strength, they can equally make a positive impact on the society. But this can’t be achieved if they don’t have a say and are voiceless. So, the idea is to uplift the women to such an extent that they know that they are part and parcel of the political process. If in the end and with our many activities, we are able to achieve that, we will be very happy. In this though, we are non-political, as we don’t care to what party anybody belongs, provided she contributes to the wellbeing of the society.
We are generally non-political and our aim is not to consciously field women for any position or into any political party. These two are interwoven because the moment you say you are fielding women for political posts, the next question will be, which party? But we are non-partisan, which is why different parties attended our programme and from the look of things, they were pleased with us. We are all about progress, advancement and nothing else. A rose is still a rose irrespective of the garden it is planted.”
We commend this and look forward to more conferences like this. If every woman who reaches the pinnacle of her career or who is successful in some way decides to give back and raise other women, the economy will improve and the future of our children will be more secure.
Photo courtesy of Guardian News website