Judex Okoro, Calabar
A development expert, Serena Francis, has decried the underrepresentation of Nigerian women in science and technology fields.
Serena, a motivational speaker on gender issues, stated this at the 2019 International Women’s Day Conference, with the theme “Balance for Better”, an event sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in collaboration with Centre for Women and Vulnerable Children held at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar.
Serena, who was keynote speaker at the event, said Nigerian women’s poor representation in science and technology prevents them from developing and influencing gender responsive innovation needed for transformative gains in society.
The conference focused on innovative ways in which women in Cross River can advance gender equality and empowerment, particularly in the area of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure
“You cannot grow beyond your thinking,” she said, advising Cross River women to see themselves in their mind’s eye.
“Now is the auspicious time for women to rise to the occasion and take up their right place in the scheme of things as society cannot wait for them to catch up.”
Event consultant and one of the organisers of the conference Ifeoma Egbuonu advised women to aim for better balance as key step to a better society.
‘”Balance for better”, she said, sought to achieve a more inclusive society, adding that the IWD 2019 conference is aimed at looking out for industry leaders, game changing start-ups, social entrepreneurs, gender equality activist and women innovators.
Stela Archibong, a participant at the conference, said that it has been an eye opener, having gotten pointers on how women can build their own capacities and not limit themselves.