Women have been called upon to speak up against domestic violence, oppression and shun all forms of stigmatization that could diminish their self esteem in the society, urging them to aspire for excellence.
The women were also encouraged to get acquire entrepreneurship skills so as to enable them to be economically self-reliance and contribute to the growth of their families and society.
The founder and Executive Director, Elite Women Network International (EWNI), Shirley Hills said this on Saturday during the International Women Speakers Summit 2018 organized by the EWNI in Abuja.
Mrs Hills said that there was need for every woman to rise to the occasion and speak up on issues of violence and oppression.
She said, “The Say it Forward theme is to help women, enable them to learn from their mistakes through a shared knowledge. We are urging every woman to get empowered, stand on your own truth; share your story and say it forward to turn it into substance to inspire others.
“We have ignited the need to keep doing this annually. This is an annual international programme of the Elite Women Network; the objective is to be the voice of women because women need a voice. Though we have a voice but it has consistently been silenced by societal issues, family and even self sabotage.
“What we expect to achieve from this summit is that more women will come out to express themselves and share with other people their experiences.
More women will come out to learn the act of public speaking because we are not just telling stories, we could have women who could be on the United Nations platform tomorrow, we don’t want you to just go there and speak anyhow, you need to speak with decorum, and you need to speak with intention.
And we have a speaking code which we say: Inspire, empower and transform. So the audience must be inspired, empowered and transformed by what you say,” she the convener of the summit added.
On her part, the co-convener of the summit, Ambassaodr Uyi Odinuwe, Director and co-host International Women Speakers Summit, said though it’s not every woman that is abused, it’s not every woman that is faced with a lot of violence;.
Odinuwe who spoke on the topic, from doom to boom, said that the summit was a platform which women from all over the world can express themselves – say it forward, say it the way it is, say it the way they know, say it the way it happens in their lives, amongst their friends, and the community.
She stated that with such forum, people would learn and it would make a lot of women to have a voice. “When we say the way it forward, don’t hold back anything – let the world know I am in pain, let the world know I am in trouble. People can come out to volunteer to help because if you are mute, nobody knows what you passed through, if you are mute, nobody understands what is happening around you.
“So this is a platform for women to gather together and speak pout their minds so that other women can help. You are there to lift yourself, we are there to support one another and at least, everybody has a say, everybody is inspired and aspired to move forward to bring a lot of other women together for us to know yes, we have a voice so that people can hear and proffer solution to the plight of women.
“On measures taken to support women aspire, she said, they have organized series of seminars where they teach women how to be entrepreneurs, self-reliance and how they can be very useful in the society.
There are some women out there that they don’t really know what to do, so we teach them that they should not despite their little beginning. We urged them to come out and see what they can do so that together we can create a peaceful home and a viable economy.
One of the speakers at the summit, Mary-Helen Nnadi – a former director at Diamond bank said that has no excellence no average zone, urging, women to aspire and be the best they can wherever they are irrespective of the situation.
Ms Nnadi added, “Women must lead by example, we must encourage ourselves to get more training, advance our education and work harder.”