In her speech during the opening of the International SHEROES Forum, Abuja 2017 on Tuesday 24th October, 2017, the Founder and Executive Director of SHEROES Foundation in a strong worded speech challenged women to do more than talk in the agenda to see more women taken leadership roles. Full speech below;
Distinguished Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Excited!! About Being Here In Partnership With Nepad Nigeria For This Special Edition Of The International Sheroes Forum. The 2017 Edition Was Held In Accra And We Are Here Today To Hold A Second Edition Because Of The Overwhelming Support That We Have Received Over The Years From Our Nigerian SHEROES; I Am Glad To See Many Of The People Who Were At The Accra Event here with us Today. We Are Grateful For Your Continuous Support.
Distinguished Ladies And Gentlemen, The International SHEROES Forum Was Instituted With Six Objectives;
Today, We Are Have Activated The Sixth Point Of Our Objectives Of Cultivating Strategic Community Partners To Take Action And Create Impact By Collaborating With Nepad Nigeria To Host This Very Important Forum. In Partnering With Nepad Nigeria, We Were Guided By The Knowledge That Nepad Nigeria, As Mentioned By The CEO, Among Its Many Roles, Is Committed To Empowering Women At All Levels To Succeed And Make A Solid Impact On The Economy Of Nigeria, Africa And The World As A Whole.
We Come To Today’s Event From Holding Similar Events In Port Harcourt, Accra And Dubai. In All These, The Underlining Conclusion Has Been That Women Must Network And Support Each Other More In Order To Change The Narrative. Whilst It Is One Of The Very Difficult Truths For Us To Acknowledge, It Has Also Emerged In Some Of Our Earlier Events That It Is Much Easier To Receive Support From Our Men Folks Than From Our Fellow Women In Our Quest To Become Better And In Aspiring For Higher Offices And Responsibilities. Is It Simply Because The Men Have More Than We Have And So Are Able To Support Or Is It A Case Of Us Sisters Not Willing To See Our Fellow Sisters Make It To The Top? It Is A Hard Question And Until We Face This Reality, Until 70% Or More Of Our Support Comes From Our Fellow Women, I Am Afraid To Say That All We Will Be Doing Is Talking And I Am Sure We Are Tired Of Talking. At Least, We At The SHEROES Foundation Are.
It Is For This Reason that The Sheroes Foundation Is Working With Some Queenmothers In Ghana, Some Of Whom Are Here With Us Today, (And I Acknowledge Our Queenmothers) To Acquire A Parcel Of Land In Order To Setup A Sheroes Girls’ Leadership Academy Where We Can Train And Equip Young Girls To Make Bold Decisions That Would Make Their Communities Better And Prepare Them For Leadership Roles. The Academy Will Also Serve As A Revitalization Centre For Practicing Professional Women And Politicians To Occasionally Meet To Share Ideas And Strategize To Make Greater Impact. For Indeed, We Do Agree That All Nations Are Steered By Decisions Taken In The Corridors Of Politically Power, We Have Seen A General Trend Where Women In Corporate Leadership And Women In Politics Are Not Able To Properly Connect For The Common Good Of The Whole. It Is Almost As If There Is A Competition Amongst These Two Groups Of Women To Establish Who Is More Important. This Scenario Must Change And That Will Only Happen When Conscious And Consistent Effort Is Made By Both Sides To Connect, Share Ideas And Collectively Ensure That The Voice Of Women, Girls And The Marginalized Are Not Just Heard But Concrete Actions Are Taken To Address These Issues By Governments All Over The World.
Distinguished Ladies And Gentlemen, At SHEROES Foundation, We Say Don’t Just Be A Woman, Be A Woman With A Cause! That Cause must benefit Your Fellow Women And That Cause Must Benefit Society.
Today, We Are Honored To Have In Our Midst Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, A Senior Senator From Liberia Who Happens To Be The Vice Presidential Candidate Of The Coalition For Democratic Change (Cdc), One Of The Two Parties Going Into Their Electoral Runoff Come 7th November, 2017. Liberia Set The Tone When They Elected Into The Highest Office Of The Land, Their Current Head Of State, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, The First Female Head Of State In Africa And I Dare Say That They Intend To Follow That Up With A Vice President Who Is Also A Woman. I Am Proud To Announce That Senator Taylor Is A Proud Shero Who Has Been Of Great Support To The Sheroes Foundation. Senator Taylor, We Salute You And We Wish You Well In The Runoff. I Want To Appeal To Us Here To Reach Out To Senator Taylor And Support Her In Anyway That We Can And To Ensure That We Propel A Woman Who Indeed Is About Empowering Women And The Marginalized Into The Second Highest Office In Liberia. Senator Taylor, Again I Dare Address You As H.E. Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, I Stand Up Here Today To Directly Appeal To You Not To Neglect The Plight Of Women And The Marginalized When You Assume That Office. All Of Us Gathered Here Will Hold You To That And We Trust That We Shall Not Be Disappointed.
Distinguished Ladies And Gentlemen, Allow Me To Take This Opportunity To Thank The CEO Of Nepad Nigeria, Princess Akobundu And The Staff Of The NEPAD Nigerian Secretariat For The Collaboration And The Overwhelming Support We Received From Them In Organizing This Event. We Are Grateful And We Look Forward To Our Two Organizations Working Together Again In The Very Near Future. I Also Want To Thank My Colleagues From The Sheroes Foundation Office Here In Nigeria, Ghana and the US Without Whom We Probably Won’t Be Here Today. Our Friends From The Media, Thank You For Coming. It Is Our Hope That The Discussions That Would Be Held Today And Tomorrow Would Find Voice And Representation In Your Various Media Houses.
To All Our Dignitaries, Friends And Everybody Here, Thank You For Taking Time Out Of Your Busy Schedules To Connect With Us. I Believe, Working Together, We Will Achieve Much More And Our Various Economies Will Be The Better For It.
Thank You All For Coming. God Bless.