The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE” or “The Exchange”) has called on women to rise above gender limitations at the half-day symposium held on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 to celebrate the 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD). The symposium themed “Transcending Gender Limitations”, was organized in partnership with Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, United Nations Women, United Nations Global Compact, International Finance Corporation, the World Federation of Exchanges and Women in ETFs. Over 220 participants from corporate, education, government and non-governmental sectors attended the event.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, CEO, NSE noted that the International Women’s Day Symposium is a very special event for the NSE, as it provides a platform for the Exchange to celebrate the social and economic achievements of women in many spheres of life as well as discuss avenues to accelerate gender parity. “As a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSEI), the Exchange takes the issues of gender equality and balance very seriously and it is playing its part to accelerate the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5 which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030”.
Onyema called on the NSE stakeholders to re-commit to accelerating the achievement of gender equality by taking groundbreaking actions that truly drive the greatest change for women. “It is therefore crucial for us to impress on our ecosystem, the business and investment community in Nigeria, to utilize every opportunity such as presented by this symposium to seriously do some introspection and come up with useful suggestions to the nation on how to harness the innate capabilities of women by allowing them to flourish just like their male counterpart”, he said.
Delivering her keynote address, the first female Professor of History in Nigeria and the author of “Nigerian Women Pioneers & Icons”, Professor Bolanle Awe, OFR, opined that women must reject any limitation by gender which threatens their right to perform. “Brain has no gender, we can achieve as women what men can achieve. Indeed in Nigeria, we cannot afford to accept gender limitation in a country where by 2020 we hope to be one of the leading countries of the world”.
The symposium also featured a panel discussion comprising women from various spheres of social and economic activity, who have shattered the glass ceiling to succeed in their chosen profession. The panelist include Mrs Ronke Sokefun, Honourable Commissioner for Urban & Physical Planning, Ogun State; Ms. Ngozi Edozien, founder and Managing Director of Invivo Partners Limited; Mrs Betty Irabor, Founder and Publisher of Genevieve Magazine; Ms Tinu Awe, General Counsel and Head, Regulation, NSE; Ms Pai Gamde, Acting Head, Corporate Services Division, NSE and Mrs Mojisola Adeola, Council Secretary, NSE, who moderated the discussion. The panelists noted that gender integration is a moral imperative that requires immediate action. They urged women to reject limitations that threaten their chance to perform as excellently in life as the male folks, and concluded that until women begin to rise up to break the barriers, there will be no significant change.
Participants at the event won loads of prizes and wrote their opinions and ideas on how women can be bold for change.
To conclude the event, The Exchange joined over 40 exchanges around the world to “Ring The Bell for Gender Equality” in celebration of the 2017 International Women’s Day. This marks the third consecutive time the Exchange is joining exchanges around the world to advocate for gender parity. The Closing Gong had the Keynote speaker and the panelists along with the CEO, NSE in attendance.