Dialogue On Women Holds In Lagos


The 3rd Intergenerational Dialogue on Women in Nigeria started in Lagos yesterday.  The three-day parley, which is expected to end tomorrow, Friday 15 October is being  organised by the Centre for Human Development, CHD, with the support of the Ford  Foundation.

In her welcome address, Prof. Simi Afonja, the Executive Director of CHD, said the  Intergenerational Dialogue, which is currently holding at the Airport Hotel in  Ikeja, Lagos, was necessitated by the need to bring women of different generations  together to rub minds and address critical issues about the women’s  movement in  Nigeria and its contributions to women’s empowerment and gender equality in the last  50 years. The theme of this year’s dialogue is: Policy Evolution And Development.

“In the past few years, we focused on intergenerational  dialogue because we have  carried out an assessment of the women’s movement  in Nigeria and found out that  there is a big divide. The old ones, like me are retiring. We had danced and we want  to leave the stage for the younger generation. And the best way we can do this is to  dialogue with the younger generation, provide skills, different knowledge and  prepare them for the dance,” she remarked.

In her keynote address, Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, the Executive Director of African  Women Development Fund, AWDF went down memory lane, recounting the various ways by  which  Nigerian women have impacted the society. She also frowned at the way and  manner in  which some Nigerians who had  paid some price in the past are not  remembered and recognised. Rather, according to her some group of 15 miscellaneous  women came together in in Abuja two weeks ago to  award themselves the same title of  distinguished Nigerian women.

In an impassioned speech, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, the founder of the Kudirat  Initiative for Democracy, KIND, bemoaned the wide gulf between elite and urban women  who set agendas and  the iliterate rural women.

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She then stressed the need for Nigerian women not just  to be united but also  form  a common front.

“It’s dangerous for privileged women to set the agenda for all women without broad  consultations,” she said.

Distinguished Nigerian  women in attendance at the event included, Prof. Omolara  Ogundipe, Olori Bisi Olateru Olagbegi, Mrs Betty Ubeku, Ms Yemisi Ransome-Kuti and  Dr  Keziah Awosika.

—Nehru Odeh

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