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Celebrating the Nigerian woman

News » Health and Beauty

Date: 19th, MARCH, 2013

Image: Women

It was International Women’s Day recently. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.

Here in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is particular about women’s rights to financial and economic empowerment.

According to SEC Director General, Arunma Oteh, today Nigerian women are facing enormous social and cultural challenges, yet there is no doubt that many of the cultural challenges women face can be overcome through greater financial independence.

Oteh said that was the reason the commission decided to leverage this year’s event to specially focus on economic empowerment of women and girls through savings and investment.

Women have been urged to diversify their investment in order to also diversify their risks in the event of any shocks in the capital market.

Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), at the Seminar with the theme: Enabling Women’s Financial Inclusion held in Abuja, Oteh said it is better for women to embrace collective investment schemes as if they save through such avenues, they would not be putting all their eggs in one basket and it also allows them to diversify their risks.

The DG said women should ensure they understand the terms and investments of any investment proposals they are introduced to before they go into it.

“You need to be sure of any investment proposals first before you make your decisions. If you don’t understand something, please do not do it. Make sure you understand and accept the terms of an investment before you do not. Even if it is a bank official that comes to you, ensure you understand all the details before you go into it” she said.

Oteh said the Capital Market is poised to provide opportunities for women to acquire education for economic and financial empowerment in areas such as collective investment schemes, Islamic funds, bond funds equity as well as money market funds.

On the challenges faced by women on issues bordering on capital for investment, she assured that SEC will do everything within its reach to leverage the gap hindering women and girls’ right to financial and economic empowerment through savings and investment.

“Here in Nigeria, women’s right to financial and economic empowerment is very important to us as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nigerian women are facing enormous social and cultural challenges yet there is no doubt that many of the challenges faced by women can be overcome today through greater financial independence.”

She appreciated effort made by the Nigerian woman and her influence on household finances and by extension that of the larger society and  also thanked effort made by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for carrying women along in the scheme of things and also providing them with the necessary resources to aim at carrying out their roles in the most effective way.

Oteh said at the moment, the capital market provides the opportunity for women to acquire education for economic and financial empowerment in the following products: collective investment schemes, Islamic funds, Bond funds, Equity Funds and Money Market Funds.

In her goodwill message, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai said the importance, duties and economic responsibilities of women folk cannot be over stated hence the celebration and recognition of women on International Women’s Day.

Represented by Ifeoma Agunwah, Director Policy Planning, Management and Research in the Ministry of Education, Rufai congratulated SEC for the event and said that the new millennium has witnessed attitudinal change towards women stereotypes.

“There are now women in boardrooms, executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government and these areas were sole prerogatives of men. In the spirit of these achievements, there is still room for improvements especially in business and politics.

“But as we mark women’s day today, I want to urge that more attention be given to women health issues among others. There should also be stringent punishment to those who perpetrate violence against women” she said.

In a keynote address, Speaking on the topic, ‘Enabling Women’s Financial Inclusion’, Guest speaker at the event and Founder BACKSLASH BACKSLASH CEO Bestman Games Limited, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe called on women to plan adequately and save for the rainy day, for better financial management in the future adding the need to focus on their agenda rather than that of others should be of great priority .

She warned women to desist from being influenced by other people around as the act might eventually lead them into trouble appealing that loans borrowed from friends as well as financial institutions should be adequately paid for a long term cordial relationship.

While advising women to avoid being put under pressure by financial institutions to invest for quick financial returns Akinkugbe also expressed the need to assist women manage their life as when this is done, it will serve as a pure catalyst for economic development.

Akinkugbe urged the women to invest wisely in ventures that will yield good returns even if it drags into years as many short term investments have been found to be too risky.

“Women should not just do business, make profit and keep the money at home; they should look for good investment opportunities that would yield returns in the long run. More importantly, they should look after themselves very well as it is only when you are healthy that you will be able to make money” she added.

Participants at the seminar were drawn from interest groups, schools as well as the media.

Highlights of the event include dance, drama and poetry citation.

The International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on March 8th every year. The event which is an occasion used to celebrate the achievement and travails of womanhood, started as a socialist political event, the IWD blended with the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet bloc. In the West, IWD was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8th as the UN day for women’s rights.

Article Credit: Daily Independent News

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