Nigerian women have been urged to take advantage of the different opportunities existing in the digital economy.
At a United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) virtual event which held March 8, 2021 to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, stakeholders in the business community said there were several opportunities in the digital economy that women could take advantage of.
The virtual event was themed “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”.
Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, CEO, Future Soft, in a keynote address on the impact of COVID-19 on women leadership, said the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation which presents a lot of opportunities that young girls and women can focus on and harness.
“Nowadays, if you are not a digital literate, you cannot be a financial literate because all of the new investment opportunities and ways that money and investment are being managed are going to be digital in the next five years,” Begho said.
“This means that women need to start looking at how they can harness these investment opportunities within the digital economy such as peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding, trading online both locally and internationally, etc.,” she said.
Begho said personal branding is another opportunity that women should not shy away from.
“This is how you get the next job, political appointment and next opportunity to be in leadership. That is why we have to be very international about building our personal brands,” she said.
The pandemic distorted the dynamics of human relations. It revealed the institutional gaps in society and amplified the need to create systems, safe spaces and opportunities for women.
On how women can navigate the new normal brought by the pandemic, Angela Bamkole, a representative of Nigerian Association of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Business Women Group (NAWORG), suggested they should be mentally alert, ambitious, goal-oriented, confident, innovative, have partnership with others and be flexible.
The event also had a panel session which had women leading in the new normal such as Victoria Madedor, head of agribusiness & FMCG, BOI Investment and Trust Company, and Rhoda Robinson, ED HACEY Health Initiative, who shared inspirational stories and advice to women.
Additionally, there was a presentation of awards to women who have excelled in various fields. Virtue Oboro, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Ibilola Amao and Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes received awards in the Healthcare, Development, Technology and Management categories, respectively.
IWD 2021 turns the spotlight on the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in creating and sustaining the fight against COVID-19, their roles in shaping an equal future in the recovery from the pandemic, while highlighting the underlying structural gender gaps that still exist.
“IWD is a day to celebrate women’s achievements and a call to action, encouraging everyone to stand up for women’s rights and gender equality. Gender equality means no matter your gender, you are granted the same rights, privileges, opportunities as everyone else,” Joan Agha, president of UNAN, said.
Deodata Mukazariye, a representative of UN Women, said this year’s IWD celebration highlights the transformation in the power of women’s equal participation.
“The evidence is clear; when women lead in government, we see bigger investments in social protection and greater roles against poverty,” Mukazariye said.