By Chris Onuoha
Popular broadcast journalist Adaora Onyechere has been honoured at the just concluded 2022 Int’l Women Power Conference Africa 2022.
She was honoured in the category of 20 Most Influential Women in Media award.
The conference which ttook place at Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel Abuja recently also saw First Lady of Oyo State, Tamunominini Makinde, her Akwa Ibom counterpart, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, the First Lady of Kebbi State, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, and wife of Sokoto state Governor, Maryam Mairo Aminu honoured with Governor’s Wife Impact and Compassionate Award.
Onyechere who is also the Executive Director Gender Strategy Advancement who also spoke at the event described women as dynamic leaders of change whose participation is fundamental to democratic governance.
According to her, with 49.58% of the world’s population being females, no nation can maximize its potentials with the exclusion of women from governance and decision-making processes.
She stated, “Globally, women are under-represented in decision-making positions. Africa, however, presents the worst scenario. Concerns over women’s marginalization and invisibility in policy-making in the continent have remained a fervent international discourse. However, gender equality and diversity are recognized to have beneficial effects on organizations, institutions and the overall economy.
“The importance of women’s participation in public decision-making cannot be overstressed. Apart from the fact that it is their right, their inclusion in leadership positions, whether in government, corporate bodies or the social sector, brings diversity of perspectives to the solution of societal problems.
The annual Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme has consistently shown that countries which score high on gender equality and women empowerment also tend to achieve high performance on the Human Development Index.”
She also praised the media for sustaining reportage and efforts to promote increased women’s involvement in governance and decision-making.
The former Imo governor’s aide said almost every First Lady in Africa initiates programs are around women’s political inclusion, women empowerment and poverty alleviation, expressing dissatisfaction that at the current rate of change, it may take another 180 years to close the gender gap in Africa which she attributed to lack of political will by policy actors .
She expressed gratitude to the organizers of Int’l Women Power Conference 2022 for finding her worthy of the recognition, pledging that she is challenged to do more in giving the women a voice in issues of inclusion in governance, empowerment and rights protection.