Today, there are increased global efforts to achieve gender equality. A recent study indicated that when it comes to serving on the board and assuming other top leadership roles in the c-suite, it will take over 100 years for women to achieve gender parity with men. This means that we are running against time; we need to work a hundred times faster and smarter to change this reality and manifest a new reality in our world. This is the time for women to dream and pursue those dreams. This is the time for women to explore opportunities with confidence and determination. This is the time for women to emerge and unleash their maximum potential. It may not be an easy road, but life is barely an easy road for anyone. Yes! So much has been said about women; they are not great at supporting one another, or women are often women’s greatest enemies. But hey! Men have not exactly done any differently. Men get in each other’s way, pull each other down and don’t really support one another sometimes. However, the world does not stop moving and men don’t easily give up. It’s time for women to break out of every limitation. Even when life happens and a woman gets burned by a fellow woman, she needs to get up and pick herself back up again. There are support systems out there for women and if you are not getting the support you need, you just might need a new environment and a new support system.
Dear Sisters! There is a world out there waiting for us to conquer! Women can thrive in politics, women can thrive in science and technology, women can thrive in architecture, women can thrive in education, women can thrive in aviation, women can thrive in any field of leadership. This is the time for women to rise up and take over the world! This is the inspiration behind my new story; I seek to invest in adolescent girls and women and actively contribute towards the movement of girls and women taking over the world by fulfilling their maximum potential and advancing their rights and interests in society. This is what fuels my passion and my work at Girls Voices Initiative. I am focused on empowering adolescent girls because I recognize that they are a vulnerable population who are often omitted in development conversations. In Nigeria, and around the world, the girl child is often mentioned in relation to a bad statistic, such as child early or forced marriage, poor education of girls, prevalent rates of gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking of girls, abduction or kidnapping of girls, the worst affected during crises - the list goes on and on. But I seek to change the narrative. In the course of our work at Girls Voices Initiative, we have begun to witness the change; we have more girls being educated about their rights and challenging traditional councils to change harmful traditional practices, and challenging other stakeholders to effect the change they desire to improve their lives. Nigeria’s girls are now winning Global STEM competitions – those are the kinds of statistics that I seek to promote.
Girls Voices Initiative is passionate about educating girls about their rights and building their capacity to lead their advocacy and champion their movement. We are succeeding in our mission as we have educated over 50,000 girls about their rights. Girls are increasingly learning about their rights as provided by the laws in the country and they are engaging public conversations to demand the protection of their rights. Today, we have our girl leaders championing advocacy for an end to child marriage, an end to gender-based violence and the promotion of girls’ education. Our girls are leading presentations, panel discussions, anchoring events and educating their peers about girls’ rights and how girls can be better equipped to report violations of their rights e.g. rape, trafficking, etc. Our recent girl led radio program on Gender Based Violence reached over 70 million people in Nigeria and around the world. In the course of the year, we seek to make girls’ voices count on critical social issues affecting them and we are working to empower and facilitate 500 girls and young women to design and produce technology resources and media content to reach 20 million Nigerians and catalyze social (behavioral and attitudinal) change towards girls and women’s empowerment and gender equality. In celebrating women’s month, we are exploring the theme: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change and we are providing girls and women with technology skills to build a Pi Photo Booth and explore photography with Google Photos. I am particularly excited about the Women Hairdresser’s Association that we would be engaging who would be able to use the skill they learn to promote their hand-work and enterprise. This is my new story for women; to identify and take a seat at the table and if you are not given a table, set up your own table and lead!
I am so blessed to be in the vibrant community of World Pulse where I am surrounded by the world’s greatest supporters of women and their cause. I am celebrated at World Pulse and I share that beauty ‘beleza’ of sisterhood with other women in my community and around the world. As the world celebrates women this month, I celebrate all the women in the World Pulse Community, women that I have been privileged to connect with in the course of my life and work, and all the wonderful women of the world. I love you so deeply and I know that TOGETHER, we can bring the world to achieve gender equality within the next 10 years! YES, WE CAN!
 2015 Study by LeanIn and McKinsey & Company, https://richtopia.com/sustainable-development/100-years-away-gender-equality-c-suiteChange starts with a story.