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Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum (NWIDLF) International Seminar

FEMALE campaign group the Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum (NWIDLF) held an international seminar on 10 March 2018 during which it charged its members to push the boundaries on gender equality to the next level by refusing to accept glass ceilings. At the seminar held over the weekend in central London to mark International Women's Day, several high profile speakers pointed out how all sorts of obstacles were placed in their career paths but they defied them all. Among the speakers who spoke were Councillor Soraya Adejare , the Speaker of Hackney; Florence Eshalomi AM the member of the Greater London Authority (GLA) for Southwark and Lambeth and Ivana Bartoletti, the chair of the Fabian's Women's Network. In her opening remarks, NWIDLF president Susan Fajana-Thomas, herself a councillor and former speaker of Hackney, remarked about how it has been 100 years since women got the vote in the UK. She pointed out that although women now have the right to vote just like men, they need to take this a step further by demanding to be voted for in the same numbers as their male counterparts. GLA member Eshalomi MA said: "When I first became a councillor in Lambeth, there were only three from ethnic minority backgrounds and I was an additional rarity as a black woman. A lot of people found it odd that I should be their representative but I was determined to make a mark and made sure that I acted on all representations made to me. "Since then, I have gone into the GLA and I have taken this approach with me whereby I am keen to let them know that a woman can be just as effective as a man. I will be giving up my seat in Lambeth at the next local government election but my replacement is also going to be a black woman." Councillor Soraya Adejare added: "When women were given the right to vote, there were also given the right to be voted for. We need to step up the demand that our voices be heard as if we do not, limitations will always be placed on our aspirations. "Never let anyone else determine your value of your worth as you should be the one to decide if you are capable of doing something or not. In politics, decisions are taken that affect all of us, so if we women want decisions that will favour us, we need to get involved in the political process." NWIDLF founder and former president Jenny Okafor, called on women's organisations to pool their resources together so they can speak with one voice on these issues. Other speakers highlighted how all sorts of glass ceilings were placed in their ways in the workplace and they had to be twice as good as their male colleagues to scale such hurdles. Nigerian Woman in Diaspora Leadership Forum encourages the Women and the girl child to explore, cultivate and embrace her full leadership potentials and utilize the same in creating an enabling environment where the contribution of women in nation building is recognised in perpetuity. For further info please contact

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