By Bolaji Buhari
Lagos – The South West Zone Woman Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Kemi Nelson, on Friday urged women to participate actively in politics, in order to make more impact in the society.
Nelson gave the advice in Ikeja while speaking at the of 5th annual summit of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association’s Network of Entrepreneural Women (NNEW).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the two-day summit which started on Thursday was “Unite ! Women Collaborating for Growth”.
The APC woman leader said the impression that politics was for men was erroneous, advising women to explore the political space to contribute more to nation -building.
Nelson urged women to aspire more for leadership positions in order to correct the leadership gender inequality.
“As women, we should play more active part in politics in order to impact more on nation-building.
“It is wrong for some of us to have the impression politics is only for men and then stay away from the whole thing.
“If we stay away, how are we going to be part of the country’s development?
“How can we be part of formulating the policies that will change our situations?
“How can we be in the mainstream?
“We need to be more involved in the process.We need to produce governors, we need to increase our number in the National Assembly.
“We can only achieve these and more if we are more involved,” she said.
Nelson, however, said for women to succeed in politics, they would need to be focussed, hardworking and disciplined.
She said making an impact in a male-dominated terrain like politics would require women to have capacity and confidence.
Nelson urged women to earn the trust of the people in their respective areas, as that was needed to seek and win elective positions.
The APC woman leader said she had endured peculiar challenges as a female politician, but was still standing firm owing to strong character and focus.
“I won’t tell you it is easy to succeed as a politician. It is not easy at all, especially if you are a woman.
“You will face many challenges. People will try to shove you aside. You just have to believe in yourself and continue move on.
“Yes, there are things that will discourage you; don’t just get discouraged.
“If I am still standing firm after many years in politics with my marriage intact, you can do it and even better,” she said.
Nelson commended NNEW for organising the summit, saying it would help build capacities of women to contribute more to nation-building.
An entrepreneur, Mrs Adenike Ogunlesi, said entrepreneurship was the bedrock of economic development.
She called on the government to design deliberate policies to promote entrepreneurship with a view to creating jobs and driving the prosperity of the country.
“Every nation has to have policies that support entrepreneurship because multiples and hundreds of people are dependent on it
“So, we need policies to build capacities, to empower entrepreneurs with knowledge and finance.
“We need to support business to drive the country’s prosperity.
“If we do not do these and the Chinese take over our markets, what happens to our people?
“So, we need to do what is right,” she said.
Ogunlesi urged women entrepreneurs to build the right capacities to enable them to succeed in their businesses.
In her remarks, Mrs Modupe Oyekunle, President, NNEW, said the summit was organised to bring women together to discuss how they could play greater role in nation-building.
She said it was a myth that women could not achieve much like men in certain areas.
Oyekunle said the summit was organised to build capacities and help women to make more impact in the society.