MTN Nigeria Observes International Women’s Day, IWD, Advocates for Gender Equality
In commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD), MTN Nigeria celebrated Nigerian women while tackling ‘unconscious bias’ as a hindrance to ensuring a gender-balanced society.
The event took place at the MTN Penthouse in Ikoyi and resonated with the global IWD theme – Each for Equal, which focuses on the value of diversity and how individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can encourage equal representation.
To effectively drive adoption and advocacy, the event was held to address issues that are intuitive, judgements/stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained in our beliefs, and can affect our attitude and behaviour towards other people.
In her welcome address, Esther Akinnukawe, Chief Human Resource Officer, MTN Nigeria, said that “It is undeniable that the push for gender parity and balance has yielded good results, however, we are not where we should be, but we will get there. Everyone has a role to play in forging a gender-balanced world but as women living within a deeply cultural society, the onus is on us to push harder through our individual and collective actions to challenge stereotypes, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate achievements that showcase the benefits of the gender-balanced world we are trying to create.”
Mobolaji Balogun, investment expert and Chief Executive Officer of Chapel Hill Denham was the guest speaker at the event. “I am excited that every day, more Nigerians are becoming aware of the need for gender equality. To provide equal opportunity for women, we have to begin at the foundation, being strategic and deliberate about solving the challenge of gender equality. Besides that, there is a need to consider the inclusion of government policies that advocate for women,” said Balogun.
“A major takeout from this year’s celebration is the realization that the stakes are clearly high and it is imperative that we understand the concept of equality as not restricted to women alone but necessary for economies and communities to thrive,” Balogun reiterated.