Victims of Oppressive Laws and Practices


Participants at a forum for women in Lagos advocate a change in laws and practices that encourage discrimination against women

By Maureen Chigbo  |  Jun. 3, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

THE importance of women’s leadership in Africa’s economic growth was the theme of the  forum which also hosted the Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness, SPARC, programme. The SPARC programme founded in 2012 uses advocacy tools to sensitise the general public and seeks possible legislative change to deal with issues of women representation in the socio-economic decision making processes in Nigeria. Vital Voices Global Partnership and Women in Management, Business, and Public Service, WIMBIZ, organised the one-day SPARC forum for women on Thursday, May 23, in Lagos. It highlighted businesswomen’s advocacy efforts for increased economic empowerment across four African countries, namely Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria, the host.

Celena Green

Celena Green, senior programme manager, Africa of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a Washington DC-based organisation, said this year’s SPARC forum discussed “the importance of women’s leadership in Africa’s economic growth, and the advocacy efforts that women’s business organisations are undertaking to promote greater investment in women, and improvements in the business environment that will provide equal opportunities for women’s economic participation.”

‘‘Research has shown that gender equality is not only the right thing to do, but also good for business. Companies and governments that diversify their procurement see improved savings and efficiencies by opening the process to new players. Companies that have greater diversity in management and leadership also see greater returns, allowing them to be more prosperous, create jobs, and contribute to development and poverty alleviation. That is why women and men in the SPARC programme are together advocating for equality of opportunity.’’ she said.

Green added that the SPARC forum comprised two panels: the first panel focused on the impact of women in leadership positions in the private sector, while the second panel dwelt on the importance of government investment in women’s business development. About 75-100 participants from the civil society, the public and private sectors attended the event.

International high level keynote and panel speakers as well as high profile guests from across the who attended the forum included Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy and Victoria Sekitoleko, former minister of agriculture of Uganda, and founder of Uganda Culture Community Centre. The others were Adedotun Sulaiman, a renowned management and strategy consultant, Jane Kiragu, advocate of the High Court of Kenya, Alyse Nelson, co-founder and president, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Kah Walla, chief executive officer, CEO and founder, STRATEGIES from Cameroon.


In order to improve and increase Nigerian women’s economic and socio-political engagement, WIMBIZ, a Nigeria-based non-profit organisation, strives to elevate the status and influence of women and their contributions to nation building. It is also addressing some economic advocacy issues such as tackling the under-representation of women on corporate boards, which has been proven to be not just a case of moral injustice but also a factor for organisational decay.

“WIMBIZ will partner with other advocacy groups, media and consultants who would support the expansion of socio-political and economic space for women in Nigeria,” says Adeola Azeez, WIMBIZ chairperson.

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a non-governmental organisation, NGO, that identifies and invests in women leaders around the world working to advance human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment.

The Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness, SPARC, programme was launched in 2012 with the objective of fostering increased African women’s economic engagement in the labour force and in entrepreneurship as well as creating a more enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment and poverty alleviation. The SPARC works with four partners of the Vital Voices Africa Businesswomen’s Network, ABWN, on advocacy campaigns designed to create a more enabling economic environment for women in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The programme partner in Nigeria is the sWomen in Management, Business, and Public Service, WIMBIZ.

7 thoughts on “Victims of Oppressive Laws and Practices

  1. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing subject with ur rss . Don? know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

    HABAKKUK 2:7

    Will not your creditors (debtors) rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty.

    There is a very grave threat to building relationship. The words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:33-39 make meaning today. The problem between the Late Idahosa and Pastor Apena resurrected in Nasarawa State recently. When the leader suspects radicalism in the follower, constraints meant to curtail overzealousness are often put in place. Idealists and reformers are often treated as rebels. Ecclesiastes 10:10 is the foundation of wisdom. Only fools struggle with their tools. Watch behind you before reacting.

    Jesus Christ was subjected to severe sanctions by the Jewish authority to such an extent that He had to pay the supreme price for crimes not committed. When the same attempt was meted out to Muhammad, he turned the fire on the heads of the leaders. He won the battle giving jihadists a pride of place in relationship. Jihadists are not godly.

    Why do leaders hurt the visionary in an attempt to kill the vision?
    Why has the idealist remained in the disagreeable society?
    Why should society compel conformism in the polity?

    The basic questions should be addressed presently. The Federal Government of Nigeria had intended to instill order in Nasarawa State by posting the police to do the usual. The ‘rebels’ in Nasarawa State ambushed and killed the police. Insurgency remained with the Nigerians. Who is winning the battle? State of emergency was declared on Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States and Nigerians are debating once again. Which way Nigeria? Only the knowledge of truth in proclamation can restore peace to the Nigerian. Jihad was condemned in Genesis 16.

    Somebody owed me a lot of money but when I asked him to pay part of his many debts; he invited his Lawyer to tell me that he was lending me money which was part of the debt he owed me. It sounded amusing to me though I took it as a committal to pay the existing debt. What do you have to say? I need your advice urgently on these matters. I called the Lawyer who had acted on his brief without consultation. He told me that he was allowed in law to promote injury once he had been briefed. I chose to put the evidence before my Lawyer for a solicited advice. Amen!

    The word ‘utter’ means to say or express something. ‘Alter’ means to change or make different. A ‘message’ means information that moves from one person to another. Communication takes place when information is conveyed, understood and effectively interpreted. When you have a message and you discover that that message had been altered, what are you supposed to do?
    There is no smoke without a fire. Things do not just happen. They are made to happen and they happen for a purpose. Necessity is the mother of invention. The concept of name calling is the acceptable basis for speaking in parables. If you keep saying the same thing again and again, it shall soon become a law with you. Attitude is a reflection of character as well as a determinant of altitude. Can you afford to look back deep enough today? What did you see?
    The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors went to Benin in the year 2000 for its Annual General Meeting having gone to Awka the previous year. The corruption that we are struggling with today was evident in Benin. One of us laid it open to us. I thanked God I was not there but when the matter was brought up in Lagos, we resolved to benefit from its product. The guinea pig soon became the scapegoat but we expected it to metamorphose to become the sacred cow. Take a second look at THE MEN IN THE SURVEYING PROFESSION. That book was shown to the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors at the AGM in Minna 2001 and it was presented to the reading public colorfully on 15th June, 2001.
    We had planned to discuss some of the content of the book on 23rd January, 2002 but that event could not be because the lead speaker died about two weeks to the due date and was buried that day. As we were preparing for the twelfth anniversary of victory celebration, we would gladly look at the role of the teacher in conflict management. What we are doing presently is to create awareness and provide a thrust of the forthcoming big event. We are equally praying for the grace to be living witnesses of the occasion. Some questions will come to light. You will be obliged to ask or answer some of these questions.
    To lead us, we have represented THE MEN IN THE SURVEYING PROFESSION to the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors to be the foundation of whatever we have to say. Please take a second look at the book and give us the benefit of doubt. How best can we fight corruption and win the battle in our time?
    Which message do you carry about today?
    What is the goal of the message?
    Who is the author of the message?
    Where is the origin of the message?
    When was the message first proclaimed?
    How was the message formulated?
    How was the message propagated?
    Why was the message presented?
    Has the message attained its goal?
    What will you do now?
    Please address these issues right away and keep us posted in our fight against corruption in Nigeria. Amen!

    Eyefia William Oniovosa

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