News The African Way

NGO Tasks Young Women On Leadership Skills For Development


By Justina Auta

HEIR Women Development, an NGO and Social Enterprise, has advised girls and young women to participate in leadership positions and build capacity to enable them to succeed older generation of women leaders.

Its Executive Director, Anuli Ola-Olaniyi, gave the advice during a Leadership Capacity and Civic Knowledge Enhancement Conference for young women held on the hashtags #TheNigeriaWeWant #YoungWomen #Leadership, in Abuja.

Ola-Olaniyi noted the global percentage of women participation in leadership was between 22.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent in Africa, lamenting the low percentage of women’s representation in spite of their high population.
“The National average of women’s participation in governance in Nigeria is set at 6.7 per cent despite women accounting for 49.4 per cent of the total population with the main age of women involved in political process set at 55 years.

“Is there a place for young women? Apart from the abnormal numbers of women in leadership positions in our country, we wanted to address the root cause and that’s why we are training and encouraging girls to take up leadership positions.
‘’Girls and young women need to know that a leader is not just a man, a leader is a leader so we are re-educating and helping them to unlearn the social norm that women are not supposed to be leaders,” she said.
Ola-Olaniyi, herefore, encouraged girls and women to participate fully in the general elections by collecting their PVC’s, to vote for the right candidate, stressing that these were leadership qualities.
“Elections are coming up shortly and as we talk about leadership enhancement for young women, we also want to tell them to be able to take a decision, perform their civil responsibilities and cast their votes .
“If you have leadership skills, you should be able to make the right choice on who to choose as a leader,” she said.
She also urged them to leverage the media in having inclusive conversations to their advantage, stressing the need to identify women with capacity, confidence and character that could change the narrative.

“Young women must wake up to understand that the country is also theirs and know that the script we see is not the entire story.
“They need to move from entitlement mentality and begin to develop themselves so that when the older women want to pass the baton, we would be available to receive and run along with it,” she urged.
Earlier, Ms Ene Oshaba, a Development Journalist, stressed the importance of leveraging the media for increased female participation in Leadership.
Oshaba encouraged women to be more visible in the media space, to enable people to have a track record of their capacity, in order to have confidence to vote them into leadership positions.
She said, “Women are doing a lot in the society but are not leveraging the media and if people are not seeing or hearing about you, how can they vote for someone they don’t know?
“Women must understand the importance of media and begin to be more visible and make impacts not just posting pictures but also have important messages to show they are also knowledgeable.”
Meanwhile, Miss Modupe Adetiba, a Student Union Leader, emphasised the need to intensify efforts to groom young women to occupy leadership positions.
She said, “If we are talking about strategic positioning of young women in politics, we need to go back to the drawing board.
“We need to start grooming them from school and other places while young, in order to start building capacity from early stages of life and take up leadership positions.” (NAN)

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