Pictures as NBA Women Forum Opens 2023 Abuja Conference With Welcome Cocktail
It was a lively scene at the foyer of the Federal High Court in Abuja, as the cream of Nigeria’s female legal sorority – on both the Bar and the Bench – converged at that esteemed location on the evening of Wednesday the 29th of March, 2023 for a welcome cocktail to mark the beginning of the 3rd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Women Forum (NBAWF). As in previous editions, the NBAWF Conference is also a commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, which explored the theme, ‘TECH HER IN: INNOVATING FOR GENDER EQUITY’.
Welcoming participants and guests to the cocktail party, the Chairperson of the Conference Planning Committee, Dr. Foluke Dada was full of praise for her colleagues on the CPC for the commitment they demonstrated into making the Conference a reality. She expressed confidence that this year’s Conference would be a memorable experience for all attendees.
Other welcome remarks were also offered by the Chairperson of the NBAWF, Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha, as well as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf (who was represented at the occasion by Hon. Justice C. N. Oji); the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, Mrs. Adama Mohammed; the Vice-Chairperson of NBAWF, Mrs. Ifueko Alufohai and the Secretary of the Forum, Mrs. Irene Ini Pepple.
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A poetry rendition by Ayomide Fasan also added spice to the cocktail party.
This was followed by a highly engaging Fireside Chat, with the Forum’s Chairperson, Mrs. Okorocha in the proverbial hot seat. It was moderated by Onyinye Ukaegbu, Head of the NBAWF Media and Publicity Committee.
In the wide-ranging discussion, Mrs. Okorocha fielded questions from a number of participants on an array of topics. In her response to the respective questions, Mrs. Okorocha combined humour and personal anecdotes with profound insight as she made the following points:
– The goal of gender equity envisions a world of equal opportunities in accordance with the peculiar needs of each person, irrespective of their gender.
– In building on the legacy bequeathed to it by the previous administration of the NBAWF led by Prof. Oluwayemisi Bamgbose, SAN, the current leadership is advancing the Forum’s mandate and sustaining its tempo by giving women the tools they need to succeed, and by inculcating in its members the notion of Law as a business (not just a practice). Accordingly, the NBAWF continues to facilitate training programmes in business and entrepreneurship for its members.
– More than ever before, the Forum’s scope has extended to the subnational and local levels, thanks to the work of State Leads and others. In addition, the NBAWF has built up highly-impactful collaborations with international organizations in the pursuit of common and mutually beneficial goals.
– Women – whatever their profession or station in life – are meant to collaborate (not compete) with one another in a world where such collaboration is absolutely essential.
– The NBAWF needs willing partners in order to actualize its innovative, progressive and forward-looking agenda in a manner that continues to widen the circle of opportunities for female lawyers.
– The Nigerian political environment, as in many other parts of the world, puts women at a severe disadvantage, and any woman desirous of playing an active role in that sphere must count the cost ( in terms of her family’s welfare and stability).
– Achieving a healthy work-life balance in today’s world is no mean feat – not least for the woman with a family, as one aspect cannot but suffer for the other. However, a reasonably good work-life balance is possible with a supportive husband who shares your dreams and sees an ambitious woman such as yourself as a normality, rather than an aberration or – even worse – a threat. The same principle applies to a situation where the earning power is tilted in favour of the female spouse in a marriage.
Among those who engaged with the Forum chairperson with their questions and observations were the Kaduna State Lead of the NBAWF, Dr. Hadiza Ali of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; Dr. Foluke Dada; Mrs. Ndidi Val-Ekuma; and Ms. Ifeoma Ben of the Sponsorship Committee.
The vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Adama Mohammed of the LOC, as the event drew to a close in a convivial atmosphere spiced by rich wining and dining, good music and networking.
It was a fitting prelude to the next day, Thursday the 30th of March 2023, which marked the official commencement of the 2023 NBAWF Annual General Conference.