Working Group on Women’s Empowerment for Economic Growth

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Women and Half Initiative (WAH), a women’s rights group, has tasked the three levels of government to empower women for optimal economic growth and development of the country.

Participants in a training for women farmers

Mrs. Chile Frank-Udemgba, the promoter of the WAH initiative, gave the advice in a statement issued on Sunday, April 24, 2022 in Lagos.

Frank-Udemgba said the national economy will reach its full potential with the participation of women and men.

According to her, Nigeria’s economy can reach its full potential when both women and men participate.

“Today more than ever, women are increasingly entering the workforce and running businesses; but we still face prejudices and gender stereotypes, which run counter to our leadership aspirations.

“There is a need for the government to address these challenges by ensuring that all laws that discriminate against women are removed.

“The government must invest in women to close gender gaps, expand access to finance and step up efforts to prevent gender-based violence,” she said.

Frank-Udemgba said gender-focused policies and programs would enable women and girls to realize their economic potential, such as targeted investments to encourage girls to stay in school longer.

This, she said, would give girls the education and skills they would need to participate in the labor force as adults.

According to her, women are gradually making their leadership felt in entrepreneurship and in other fields.

She said women were now determined to break the traditional glass ceiling that prevented them from advancing to leadership positions even if they had the skills and talent to fill them.

Frank-Udemgba revealed that her group would take around 50 of the most influential women from various sectors of the economy to Inagbe, an exotic tourist paradise, off the coast of Lagos for a deliberate ‘stay’.

She said the trip would give them the opportunity to discuss more about economic power and how to break the traditional glass ceiling preventing women from climbing to the top.

Frank-Udemgba added that the Inagbe engagement will provide attendees with the opportunity to network, engage and have fun.

According to her, this will allow participants to indulge in anti-stress activities such as photo shoots and fashion shows, among others, while discussing economic power and how to break down barriers, among others.

The WAH promoter said, “Power, Influence and Pleasure” will be the theme of this year’s program.

Frank-Udemgba said this year’s engagement marked a complete departure from his usual conference-style engagement format by anchoring it in a uniquely curated format.

The WAH initiative has attracted more than 5,000 female professionals over the past five years into a well-designed ecosystem that allows for continuous interaction, robust knowledge sharing, and undiluted fun.

The initiative also provides a viable positional platform for women as they emerge and maintain leadership positions in different spheres.

The WAH Initiative is a group of exclusively professional women whose sole objective is to further galvanize women with economic power and prospects to play much more strategic roles in the economy and society at large.

By Lydia Ngwakwe

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