Marwa unveils “101 Nigerian Women of Impact” in New York
By Cecilia Ologungba
The President/Founder of Aspire Women Forum, Mrs Zainab Marwa, has unveiled a book, titled “101 Nigerian Women of Impact” showcasing the inspiring stories of women who have excelled in their fields.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unveiling of the book was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN in commemoration of the International Women’s Day in New York.
The unveiling of the book coincided with the ongoing 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67).
Speaking at the event, Amb. George Edokpa, Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, said the Mission was happy to identify with the outstanding achievements and contributions women had made to the society.
“Although, we recognise that women still face many obstacles in their quest for equality, and we must work together to break those barriers and create a more just and equitable world for all.
“The stories of the women in this book serve as a source of inspiration and hope for all of us.
“They have demonstrated that with hard work, determination, and support, women can achieve great things and make significant impact in their communities and the world at large,” he said.
Edokpa said the unveiling of the book in New York set a record that Nigerian women stood as a beam of hope and inspiration to all women globally.
He said selecting New York during the women’s month accompanied with meetings for the commission on the status of women of the UN was most befitting as a global stage.
The Nigerian envoy thanked the author for her dedication and hard work in bringing the book to life.
He said the inexplicable nature of the Nigerian woman and her fight for equality needed to be amplified in every aspect of life, saying, “we celebrate her for creating a platform for Nigerian women .
“We celebrate her for creating a platform for Nigeria women to change the trajectory by sharing their own achievements and accomplishments. It truly remarkable.”
The special guest of honour, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Former Chairman of Nigerian Governors Wives Forum, in her remarks, said every woman had a story to tell.
Fayemi, a Nigerian-British activist, writer and policy advocate, recalled how she had been advocating for the voices of women to be heard and attending the CSW for 30 years.
She said even then, there were no platforms to document the works women were doing at that time to promote gender equity and women’s rights, commending the author for the initiative.
According to her, generation to come will be inspired by the stories chronicled in the book and the younger generation will be inspired by their success stories.
She also told a story of a woman who went into labour in a marketplace and her fellow women brought out their “wrappers,” formed a ring to protect her privacy and took delivery.
“Everyone here is capable of being a “wrapper” to a fellow woman, to protect her dignity and rights; the more wrappers you bring out for a woman in need, the more you will get when you are in need,” Fayemi said.
In the same, Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria in New York, commended the author and assured her that the book would be kept in the consulate’s library.
“We will also publicise your book through our Nigerian platforms and I believe this will encourage you to do more,” he said.
The book, reviewed by Mrs Chioma Hope Uzodimma, wife of Imo State governor, which has 264 pages, was published by AMAB Books in association with the Aspire Women Forum.
The book 101 Nigerian Women of Impact, according to Uzodimma, is a journey through the lives of women who have found themselves in a position to make impact, and those who are not afraid to dare.
“This book is transgenerational and transformational; it cuts across socio economic strata and ethnic backgrounds.
“It serves to inspire conversation as it discusses the subject matter of women in Politics, Science Technology Education Mathematics (STEM), Media, entrepreneurship, Education and many other formal and informal sectors.
“The profiles of the women and their beautiful pictures gives us a glimpse into the lives and work of women who have chosen to be impactful in the lives of others,” Uzodimma said.
She said some of the women’s stories chronicled were based on bold political activism, some were based on the agility needed to dominate the campaign ground while others were based on professionalism and intellectual impact.
“The book documents not only the stories of the women who have reached the top of the mountain and planted their flags, but also those that are still on the uphill climb with the potential for making great impact in the future.
“There is a spotlight on the young women breaking barriers because not only does it motivate them and show them that they are seen, it also teaches resilience and determination,” she said.
Giving the citation of the author, Fatima Kakuri, Special Adviser to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said Marwa was a fabolous woman who had contributed to the social-political development across Nigeria.
She described the author, a British-trained lawyer, as a force to reckon with on the Nigerian landscape of young women in politics and advocate for more inclusion of women in leadership and decision-making positions.
Responding, the author said she was inspired to write the book to celebrate the incredible achievements of Nigerian women who had made significant contributions to various sectors of society.
“These women are innovators and trailblazers who have broken down barriers and inspired others to follow in their footsteps.
“Is important to remember that we still have a long way to go in achieving gender equity and women’s rights.
“We must continue to raise our voices and advocate for change, and we must continue to support one another in our quest for equity, equality and representation,” she said. (NAN) (www.nannew.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko