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Women Are Huge Economic Assets—Ben-Willie

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An Executive Director at Heritage Bank, Ms Osepiribo Ben-Willie, has described women as huge economic assets, noting that their role in the development of a nation can never be pushed aside.

The banker said this at the Women Must Conference 2.0, organised by the Kilali Tribe of Rivers and Bayelsa States.

At the event held in Port Harcourt titled The Woman and Her Must, Ms Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women’s empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

She noted that women are actively involved in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy; hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women from attaining the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of the economy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ms Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent, there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating this view, the co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Mr Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality whilst emphasising that dealing with psychological constraints will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisations to leverage women’s positions on the board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact the growth of any society.

Mr Cole also charged women to be deliberate in positioning and championing courses that would put them at the forefront of making a difference.

At the event, the organisers commended Heritage Bank for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well as women’s empowerment for socio-economic growth.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women’s empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” the President of Eveafrique News, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, who is also a member of Kilali Tribe, said.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

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