The Plight of Female Leaders and Political Aspirants in the Struggle for a Gender Equitable Africa: Which Way Africa?

Just when we were having a sigh of relief- that benevolent men were beginning to appreciate the indispensable role and participation of women in politics, leadership and issues of national discourse, we are shocked with the show of shame at a mere Ward Congress and the Primaries of the ruling political party in Africa’s most populous nation a few days ago. With the exception of a few locations, the exercise was marred by thuggery and ruffian-ism. It witnessed uncouthness, yelling, throat-grabbing, vituperations, snatching and hijacking of papers, throwing down of chairs, and rowdiness that contradicts any concept of human decency.

Amidst the whole fracas, only one woman could be spotted at the scene of the exercise. Women, even if they were participants, were alienated from the event.  This is a very worrisome development.  The continuation of unrestrained thuggery by male politicians is a threat to all inclusiveness and equitable balanced participation that should feature inclusion of women.

Women are fair creatures. They are more gentle, delicate and inhibited. They, by design cannot participate in misdemeanour and shameless behaviour that characterize the politics and electoral processes of today. Are the men trying to say that politics which opens the door to national leadership and governance is the exclusive reserve of people with brawn and brawl?

Do we not agree that the role of women in political leadership has become imperative as well as salutary and redemptive? How can female politicians fare in the ugly show of unrestrained ruffian-ism, thuggery, throwing of punches and throwing down of chairs?  These questions should agitate our minds. Male politicians should balance their wild unregulated emotions with reason, cool-headedness and exemplary decency- at the polling booths and all political rostrums.

If the narratives of leadership in Africa is to change, if gender equality and equity is to be achieved on time, then the female inclusion in politics and leadership should not only be in words but in deeds. And the environment for that change and growth that Africa desperately needs is one where peace thrives freely.

This post appeared first on elishaattai.com


Out, Through and In – A 2018 New Year Message from the Founder/President

It is a New Year!
We have been led OUT!
We have passed THROUGH!!
We have been brought IN!!!

As adults, we often reminisce about the idyllic days of our youth. Those days where we did not have a care in the world; a time when responsibilities hadn’t begun to take up permanent residence on our shoulders. In hindsight, our youth seem to be synonymous with a carefree time of our lives. But you’ll think otherwise when you take off the rose-tinted glasses.

When we think of the unfolding journey of our lives, how life has shaped us individually and collectively as an organization, we focus on how we have passed through the process of personal growth. This changing and evolving process, clearly, has involved us getting firmly established in our identities; and the three words we need to know are: OUT, THROUGH, and IN. This is exactly what God did for the Nation of Israel in Biblical times. And is a picture of what He continuously does for us in modern times.

[Tweet “It is a New Year! We have been led OUT! We have passed THROUGH!! We have been brought IN!!!”]

Daily, we observe from hindsight the path of our past, meandering through different situations and circumstances of life, maturing in our ideals and expectations. Today, we find ourselves, through no power or abilities of our own, witnessing and welcoming the dawn of another brand new year. Undoubtedly, God has led us into this new year for a greater purpose and manifestation of the plans laid out for the good of humanity. Just as it was symbolical in Egypt, calling out the Isreaelites, because He had a better future for them.

Today, African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) welcomes you to a fortuitous brand new year with enthusiasm, energy, and readiness to move mountains. I believe God has called us OUT of the past year 2017, THROUGH our myriad ups and downs, our backs and forths’, our highs and lows, our rise and falls, and our kicks and starts; to begin an IN journey towards the future.

[Tweet “Today, African Women in Leadership Organization (AWLO) welcomes you to a fortuitous brand new year.”]

Thus in recognizing the message of the year, we begin unraveling a series of IN’s in our daily striving. Let’s have an In-depth knowledge of our purpose, an Insight into our dreams, for an Influx of ideas, with an Intense debate of issues, leading to an Infuse of awareness to our Input and Interest.

[Tweet “Let’s have an In-depth knowledge of our purpose, an Insight into our dreams.”]

We shall not be held back by Invalid attempts to Interrupt our Interplay as we move towards the milestone of our 10th Anniversary!! There, I said it! African Women in Leadership Organization AWLO has come a full cycle! A Decade! A decade of Innovative leadership, a decade of Interesting accomplishments, and a flourishing decade of outstanding Ingenuity as we Increasingly Inspire and Inform! AWLO has impacted positively on the world, through our most valuable assets; The Great African Women of Worth!

[Tweet “African Women in Leadership Organization AWLO has come a full cycle! A Decade!”]

Let’s have the resolve that our expectations, our loyalty, our dreams will not fizzle out quickly in premature display of doubts. Let’s see 2018 for what it is. An unblemished chapter in the  annals of unfolding seasons: awaiting the imprints of our stories, thirsty for the Inflow of our energies, and hungry for the enduring dreams of our heart. Together, with our partners worldwide, we move forward in singleminded pursuit of our dreams and vision.

[Tweet “Together, with our partners worldwide, we move forward in singleminded pursuit of our dreams.”]

Let’s be totally honest with the year.  Let’s not burden it with the failings of our past, and not endanger it, with the frustrations of our doubts. Let us bestow upon the year, the status it merits and deserves; a newness of hope, the freshness of dreams, the absoluteness of faith, the auspiciousness of a new beginning and the decisiveness of time and seasons.

[Tweet “Let’s be totally honest with the year. Let’s not burden it with the failings of our past.”]

It is in this display of exuberant gratitude and joyous thankfulness that I, on behalf of all the Chapters, Regions, Members and Staff of AWLO; bid you all a very prosperous and Happy New Year! I believe that God is going to continue to show His greatness to us all in new ways in 2018.

[Tweet “Let us create transgenerational impact through innovative leadership.”]

Let us create transgenerational impact through innovative leadership.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
WALK IN POWER!
WE ARE AWLO
WE CARE

Dr. Elisha Attai
President/Founder – AWLO


AWLC ATLANTA 2017 – A note from the Founder

African Women in Leadership Organisation Conference to me, is a legacy and a vision. We weren’t always here, but we’ve always known where we are going.



African Women in Leadership Conference (AWLC) started in 2009, at Ghana, as a converge seeking to bring African women together to drive leadership. It started as West African Women in Leadership Conference, and has grown to include women leaders of African Descent in the Diaspora, and hosted them for the 4th year now in USA.

[Tweet “We weren’t always here, but we’ve always known where we are going.”]

This year’s African Women in Leadership Diaspora Conference, AWLC Atlanta 2017 was not only a homecoming (being an honorary citizen of Georgia), but another conference journey. Doing it now for the fourth time, I can say that most of the journey is predictable, even though every year has its peak-point, and I am dying to see each year’s.



This year, I had the honor of receiving the award of an Honorary Doctorate degree (PhD), from Global Oved Dei Seminary & University during the Conference. I see it as a token for my commitment to gender-parity.



Collaborating with my most valued USA team led by Emelia Orubele and the entire Global Executive Council,  for this event has been a delight, and an inevitable juggle. A Juggle between time zones; having to be present in two places at a time, thank God technology works wonders. I have lost sleep having to work round the clock, but I have never looked back.

[Tweet “This year, I had the honor of receiving the award of an Honorary Doctorate degree (PhD), from Global Oved Dei Seminary & University during the Conference.”]

We had a face-to-face meeting earlier in the planning, to select date and venue. Since then it has been a back-and-forth collaboration between the USA team, and my team at the International Headquarters in Nigeria. I only got back to America few weeks to the conference for finishing touches.

I will describe this as a journey of highs and lows. The highs have been the successes, and the lows came when the successes were delayed or differed from our expectation, but we haven’t been short of our goals.

Our partners remained committed to delivering, and our facilitators brought in fantastic zeal. I could catch the excitement on the faces of our delegates during the incredible performances; like the talented Obus and Prodigy’, their anxiety to look around our exhibition stands, and how they were participative during conference sessions. I would say we were shooting for the moon, and landed among the stars.

Gender parity can not be achieved without the collective efforts of both sexes. I’m grateful for the roles Mr. Ubong King, Dr. Thomas Mensah, and Mr. Idee Okpok played in this conference – a sign that Gender Parity is indeed possible. I call them the real ‘He-for-She’.

AWLC Atlanta 2017 opened on Thursday 24th August 2017 with an African Fashion Show and Cocktail, featuring networking, and meet and greets, with some prominent African/American Leaders like Senator Donzella James our Chief Host, Ambassador Andrew Young and his wife Carolyn, Chief Opral Benson, H.E Professor Uche Azikiwe (Wife of the First President of Nigeria), H.E Sarah-Elizabeth Reed (Wife of the Mayor of Atlanta), Dr. Gloria Herndon, Dr. Violet Arene, Julie Donli (DG-NAPTIP), Professor UduakObong Archibong (Bradford University- UK) . Local business leaders and young entrepreneurs. were also amongst the invited guest.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights partnered with Tiskies, a Contemporary African fashion collection for women designed and made in Nigeria by Abiola Aluko to make the evening colorful.

In these high African spirits, we were ushered into the next day’s sessions of paper presentations, panel sessions, workshop, networking, entertainment, and exhibitions. Day 2 was a two-part event and wrapped-up in a Gala and Awards evening and launch of AWLO USA Headquarters in Atlanta.

[Tweet “In these high African spirits, we were ushered into the next day’s sessions of paper presentations, panel sessions, workshop, networking, entertainment, and exhibitions.”]

Dr. Karmetria Burton, Dr. Diane Moore-Eubanks, Princess Dr. Moradeun A. Ogulana, Ph.D, MPH, Sele May Aso, Sheila Robinson and Donna McGowan made this event a beautiful rainbow that it is with their various awesome colours and speeches.

We concluded African Women in Leadership Diaspora Conference 2017 in a gettogether event hosted by the wife of the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Mrs. Idowu Laro.

Like I said earlier, AWLC to me is a legacy. A converge with an African flavor, in the spirit of gender parity and development, to see to the emergence of effective female leadership. I believe it is history being made every year, and I am humbled to be leading this movement.

[Tweet “I believe it is history being made every year, and I am humbled to be leading this movement.”]


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