AWLC, Accra 2009
“The maiden edition of AWLC was held in Ghana. The turn out was marvelous . Participants including women and some men who came out to support, came from different walks of life.”
• The RT. Hon Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.
• Chief Justice Geogina Theodora Wood, Chief Judge Republic of Ghana.
• Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Republic of Ghana.
• Hon Akua Sena Dansua, Minister for Women and Children affairs, Ghana.
• Mrs. Mbosowo Ekpotu, Wife of the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
• Dr. Ebebe Ukpong, an economist from Nigeria, who was a Special Speaker.
• Mrs. Obia Ofem, a Human Resources Management, Practitioner and a Motivational Speaker from Nigeria and of course
Hon. Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet, a Member, Lagos State House of Assembly who also was the conference coordinator.
Justice Binta Fatima Nyako who is also the First Lady of Adamawa handled The Legal Reforms and Agenda for Women prosperity. She highlighted the fact that there has always been fighting for women, and not rights of women.
The very thought -provoking paper asked a few questions like:
• What hinders the prosperity of women?
• Does it need legal Reforms?
She quoted legislature that prohibit discriminations on the grounds of sex, and argued that majority of women never seek their rights based on such provisions because they are completely ignorant of them.
She argued that women lacked understanding of the financial sector and the packages that banks provide and so do not take advantage of them.
Also, she observed that women have always been under some form of male domination, be it their father, husband, brother or son and such have perpetually failed to seek adequate knowledge on procedures and convention on issues like ownership of Land and Property. She therefore saw enlightenment as woman’s greatest challenge.
She ended by citing progressive laws that have been enacted for the protection of women:
• Marital Rape
• Deliberate infection with HIV by men
• Women slavery in Niger Republic.
She however noted that ratified convention and protocols are never fully implemented to the advantage of women and there is little of gender –responsive budgeting.
Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu presented a paper on Passing the Baton – Succession planning. She started by talking about the docile attitude of women to what should concern them and how this has divided women participation.
She argued that women always come late to meetings. She recounted her struggles in the a would of male dominance and how severally she felt lonely as the only women amongst men in meetings.
She chided women to wake up to the challenge and encourage themselves to the top. She recounted that in her work with gender–based agencies she saw how intelligent women were and yet how untapped and hidden those talents have been.
She encouraged women not to give up but to continue with the struggle.
Dr. Ebebe Ukpong. presented Corporate Governance- The Rising Profile of Women His paper highlighted the fact that “doing things well is not the same thing as doing the right things” and that women must strive to have the combination code, which is simply the requirement for governance. Women he said, need to develop themselves more in order to become relevant in governance.
He talked about “Smashing the glass House” of discrimination, cultural barriers to education, training and promotion. He concluded that corporate governance is about performance – getting the required results, and so, women should familiarize themselves with government policies and legislations.
Hon. Akua Sena Dansua spoke on Evolve or become extent- Importance of self development.
She saw the conference as seeking to foster an alliance between Nigerian and Ghanaian women. She challenged women to aspire to take up leadership positions as well as support women in leadership positions to carry out their responsibilities diligently and act as Role Models.
She spoke extensively on the progress Ghana has made towards improving the lives of women. She however said that lack of total implementation of policies have been the cause of marginal success.
She challenged women to be up and doing and to take advantage of all the opportunities created by the Government for women advancement.
Mrs. Mbosowo Ekpotu talked on the Role of Culture in Leadership. She went on to attempt a definition of culture; “continuously evolving products of people interacting with one another.” Strictly speaking, she said people are what they learn.
She saw culture as a powerful human tool for survival. She talked of the difference between musculature style of leadership which is false oriented and the feminine style which is more interpersonal and therefore relationship based.
She called on women who are aspiring to make leadership impact to be more strategic and analytical and understand the domain they working in, their strengths and weaknesses.
Mrs. Obia otosi Ofem‘s paper Working together – The Role of Team Work called on women to commit to networking, pay attention to information seeking and expand their horizon by being abreast with new trends in ICT. She called on women to value each other and be there for each other. She called for improvement in knowledge, skill and attitude so as to become relevant in the current scheme of things.
She argued that an exchange of skills and information amongst women will bridge the apparent gap in the use of information. She also motivated women to rise up to not just being wives and mothers but also to care-givers and builders in the corporate and entrepreneurial world.
Mrs. Omowunmi Edet during the group discussion spoke on The struggles women must face to be able to stay on their business as leaders. She urged women never to let their visions die, but to fight on even in the face of failure, till they reach their desired goals.