BEVERLY HILLS, March 29, (THEWILL) – The National Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE), Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Chapter, on Monday March 15, 2021, converged at the Senator Oluremi Tinubu hall in the college campus, Ijanikin, Lagos.
At the occasion to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD), the provost of the college, Professor Bilikis Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye, urged women to speak out and speak up against domestic violence and gender based discrimination, adding that women must support each other in work places and not to work against each other.
At the interactive session, Dr (Mrs) Omolola Aina Ladele, (immediate past provost of the college), highlighted the prospects and challenges of women leadership
In her presentation titled “Women in Leadership: Prospects and Challenges”, she highlighted some myths of women in positions of authority.
Dr. Ladele described what leadership entails and concluded that women are born leaders because of their ability to procreate and rear children.
She also highlighted the prospects of women to reach leadership positions as enshrined in the SDG 5, while calling for the creation of Ministry of Women Affairs in the Judiciary and Civil Service, as well as other reforms by the Lagos State Government to recognize women.
On the challenges of women in leadership, Dr Ladele highlighted “Socio-cultural beliefs and practices, domestic responsibilities, discriminatory laws and policies, under-representation at political leadership, limited or no regard for the girl-child and her education, male- dominated environment/Intimidation, lack of support from family.”
As a way forward, she advised, that “women leaders should first understand themselves, their strength and weaknesses, be confident, invest in oneself in this digital age, effectively use your position when provided the opportunity.”
She called for policy modification to support women at various levels.
Presenting an historical survey of women struggle for their rights, chairperson of the occasion, Dr Beatrice Ogannah-Ikujenyo, traced such agitations to issues of civility, harmful traditional practices and discrimination.
She observed that though the road had been rough, the emergence of Dr Ngozi Okonjo–Iweala as the Director General of WTO and Dr Omolola Ladele as the first female provost of the college (after 60 years of existence) and the current provost- another female, are proof to the adage ‘what a man can do; women can do better’.
In line with the theme of the 2021 IWD celebration, tagged ‘Choose to Challenge, a Challenged World is an Alert World’, Dr Ogannah-Ikujenyo, probed the gender disparity in the workplace and gender inequality in education.
Raising the question of gender inequality in the institution, Dr Oganah-Ikujenyo pointed out that “only 29% of the academic staff in this college are women while a whopping 71% are men. For the non-teaching senior staff, 48% are women and the majority 52% are men.”
At the high point of the interaction was the agreement that women must be effective to succeed in leadership. To do this, women were challenged to give support, rally round women leaders and ensure that the working environment is free from envy and rancour.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of an award plaque to the Speaker which was by Mrs E A Ajayi and a special presentation of a photobook that chronicled her tenure as Provost from January 2016 –January 2020.
The occasion afforded the almost two hundred members of the association to dance, make merry, relax and have fun.
At the occasion were the Provost, Professor B B Lafiaji-Okuneye, who led the management team comprising the Registrar, Bursar, the College Librarian and the Chief Internal Auditor.
Also in attendance was Deaconess Cynthia Saka, the CEO of T.Cynthia Nigeria Limited; Deaconess E A Ajayi, a retired lecturer and one of the founding members of WICE; representatives of the industrial Unions in the college and the over one hundred members of the association.