The University of Lagos Women Society (ULWS), joined the world in celebrating International Women’s Day, on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
The event which was held in the ULWS Hall, was witnessed by prominent women in the society, especially the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello.
In her welcoming remarks, the President of the Society, Dr. (Mrs.) Taiwo Ipaye announced the Society’s readiness to improve the lives of its members. She revealed that a workshop on urban farming would hold between April 4 and 6, 2023 for members who are interested in learning skills needed for earning multiple streams of income. Dr. Ipaye also mentioned that awards would be presented to personalities who have represented women folk well in the society. She also noted that there will be a constitutional review of the Women Society.
Delivering a lecture on “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” (#EmbraceEquity), the guest lecturer who is also the ULWS Innovation & Technology Committee Chairperson, Prof. Olayinka Asekun explained that the goal of DigitALL is to encourage young girls to pursue careers in Science & Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. According to her, DigitALL also aims to provide women with the necessary education and training as well as opportunity to advance and succeed. She, however pointed out that efforts to expand women’s involvement in technological fields should not be solely focused on those with STEM backgrounds, but rather extended to women with humanities and social science expertise, especially in the area of policymaking.
Her words, “the importance of gender equality in the digital space is crucial for a sustainable future”. To bridge the gap, the following steps are crucial:
- developing gender-responsive strategies and policies;
- ensuring access to ICTs by women and girls;
- building digital capacities of girls and women and supporting the development of content, applications and services that meet women’s needs;
- promoting women in the technology sector inclusiveness into positions of decision-making;
- supporting women’s entrepreneurship and empowering women with new business platforms to strengthen autonomy and decision-making.
Prof. Asekun noted that there were several ways to advance gender equality in technology and innovation. These include: promoting women’s education and training; providing access to healthcare; combating gender-based violence; breaking down barriers; and empowering women entrepreneurs.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, in a brief comment at the event, encouraged all the women present to boldly pursue their dreams. Her words, “break stereotypes and barriers, “Do It Afraid” as fear often keeps women from doing a lot of things they want to do. Take baby steps, bond with sisters (fellow women) who would encourage and give the necessary support essential to thrive and grow.”
A major highlight of the celebration was the presentation of awards to the following women:
- Prof. Folasade Ogunsola – 1st female Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos;
- Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello – Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University and a former 2nd Vice-President of the University of Lagos Women Society;
- Inspector Justina Rita Omogbai – a dutiful policewoman stationed at Sabo.
The thrilled awardees appreciated ULWS for the honour bestowed on them.
International Women’s Day is a day set aside by the United Nations, to celebrate women’s contributions to society, raise awareness about the fight for gender parity, and inspire support for organizations that help women globally.