March 8, International Women’s Day 2022. #Breakingthebias
Women’s lives are tough. As a working mother, she must balance childcare, family, raising wholesome children, and making a positive contribution to the community.
For this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration, the theme is
Although many advocacy campaigns have been launched to empower and equalize women, certain limitations remain. A recent bill to improve inclusion and representation for Nigerian women was rejected, and this is in fact a major setback.
However, my fellow Nigerian women continue to break glass ceilings despite these obstacles. A survey conducted by the consulting firm PwC shows that women own 41% of MSME businesses in Nigeria. MSMEs contribute nearly 50% of it Nigeria’s GDP and provide over 80% of employment. That’s a feat we must celebrate today.
I celebrate you today for the choice that you made not to be weighed down by that load of responsibilities and barriers but instead using that load to advance towards your greatness – whatever that means to you and how you define it.
It all starts with a choice, a daily deliberate effort to get up, get dressed, and apply yourself to your work every day. Doing the best you can with the resources available to you and not procrastinating or waiting for the perfect moment.
May the stories of these resilient women in history who despite huge challenges were still able to make a mark in their generation inspire you today as you continue in your pursuit of personal fulfillment.
My favorite is Harriet Tubman. I recently saw a movie on Netflix on her story. Oh what a woman! Harriet Tubman was an American Abolitionist, she escaped slavery and made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
Remember Madam C.J Walker? Named the first Female Self Made millionaire in the Guinness Book of World records. She made her fortune selling her homemade line of hair care products for Black women. Products that were inspired after an experience with hair loss. Madam Walker was a talented entrepreneur with a brilliant sales strategy. She built a business empire, at first selling products directly to Black women, then later building a team of women who hand-sold her wares.
Finally, Let me share with you about Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, who came up with her business idea after watching her friends and neighbors in the Ethiopian village of Zenabwork, near Addis Ababa, struggling to make a living. She set up a footwear brand based on a traditional recycled car tire soled shoe. Her eco-friendly company SoleRebels now makes footwears – sandals, slip-ons, lace-up shoes and boots, all from traditional local materials from koba plant fiber to recycled tires, organic cotton to jute. SoleRebels is now one of Africa’s most recognizable footwear brands and is sold in 30 countries worldwide.
Now, look at you woman, doing amazing things in your community and your home. Because of you, our country will heal. Because of you the coming generation of women will be inspired and motivated to reach for greatness
Cheers to you woman! Cheers to you queen!