ROTARY CLUB OF PORT HARCOURT COSMOPOLITAN CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY

Let’s all #BalanceForBetter

Last week was fun at the International night. Thank you, Cosmopolitans, for delivering a world-class event. We are three months away from the end of our Rotary year, and we are taking stock of how far we have come. A vibrant Rotary club is one that carries out service projects, gives to foundation and grows its membership. Have you given to the Rotary foundation this year? Have you also introduced a new member? If you haven’t, you still can. Together, we will grow our club and make it the envy of the district.

Tomorrow is the International Women’s Day. Every year on March 8th, the World tries to tackle burning issues that affect the often-ignored other half of its populations. This year, we tackle the equity and balance question. Right now, is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balance world. Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved. This year, we focus on why #balanceforbetter. At the end of fellowship today, we will take a photograph to show that we are part of the call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

FACILITATING THE SESSIONS are:

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri is the founder and Director of Research and Policy at Spaces For Change (S4C), a non-Profit organization based in Nigeria. Victoria, a lawyer and a development expert. Routinely facilitates public dialogues, mobilizes citizens participation n economic policy development, and engages the Nigerian parliament on the development of public policy regarding specific social and economic issues, such as gender, energy policy, urban reform and defending the civic space.

Sele May Aso is an online Gender Activist focusing on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, Media Consultant and Philanthropist by heart and deed. She is a Journalist with 12 years post training experience. Sele currently works as the Press/Public Relations Officer at the Rivers State Ministry of Power and is the official Compere in Government House, Port Harcourt.

We welcome Victoria and Sele to the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Cosmopolitan as awe urge us all to continue to “Be the Inspiration”.

Tamunoibim Semenitari, President.

WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP (FIRST SPEAKER- SELE):

Women are powerful change-makers. With the focus of PLANET 5050 (Women and Men being at parity- equal in the work-place and all sphere of life endeavour). Innovation and Technology provides opportunities for women. We need to have more women placed on boards of Directors. There are changes, but we need more changes. Sexual harassment; women often are faced with sexual harassment in the work-place and unfortunately nobody is fighting for women when it comes to this. Stationery Structures; which is the sidelining of women to a particular work-space. Inadequate networks and mentors for women. I hate, when I hear “Women are their own Enemies”; This needs to change.

SOLUTIONS:

Creating women friendly work-places (put up work-place policies that protects women). For instance, set up Cottage Industries, train women and see them working; women are hardworking.

Promoting Women Productive Rights.

Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence against women.

Changing the narratives

Working the talk (women -Work the talk).

Let’s work harder and together (Men and Women).

WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP, ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE (SECOND SPEAKER-VICTORIA):

I will start by congratulating the women for coming this far. The percentage of women getting there is still small compared to men. Until, we understand why women are not getting there, we have a lot of work to do. Lip service 35% affiliative action for women. Ensure gender diversity. Rwanda today is 50% -50% with Men and Women; South Africa did same thing. Finland has done it. It’s a global phenomenon. Why it’s that once a woman assumes power, access becomes a challenge. WOMEN NEED TO START BUILDING CULTURE OF YOUNG GIRLS AND MENTOR THEM. There is saying His Excellency Bola Tinubu “The more Powerful people you build, the more Powerful you become”. As a woman, wherever, you find yourself, let it trickle down. There is also a Rotary slogan “If your neigbours are hungry, your chicken will go hungry”. Some men in the tendency to protect their treasures (women), suffocate women with measures that could stop her from soaring.

SOME NOTES FROM MRS IBIM SEMENITARI

When it comes to unequal pay to an equal work, it’s challenging.

If you throw open opportunities and a level playing ground, you will see more women participating.

There are things that mitigate against women rise. Some of it, is; access to wealth, Political space and god-fatherism does not favour women.

We need to look at Negotiating Skills and teach women.

Q & A SESSION (CONTIRBUTIONS):

The culture of dependence of the female child; who says women can’t be different? They can by change the narratives.

A lot of women are stagnated base on family; Their background, how you bring up your girl child will definitely determine how far, she will go.

Women needs to have a lot more thank LOOKS and it starts from the home.

As a woman, learn to negotiate and be hard on your rights; women don’t keep quiet in the family, speak out, know your rights. Women should have a plan and advocate for their rights.

Women shouldn’t wait for 50% or 35% affiliative action to pull through, they can achieve it by merit.

Women needs more EDUCATION to propel.

Our traditional society limits the rights of women. “The more Women we EDUCATE, the more they will be conscious of their RIGHTS”.

MRS. IBIM SEMENITARI CLOSING NOTE:

Fellow Rotarians and my dear friends, it’s been a very good fellowship. Thank you for coming.

ROTARIAN SONGS:

Rotary is fair to all concern (a line from the song).

LOYAL TOAST AND CLOSE.

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