The International Women Society (IWS) has urged its new inductees to join hands and help alleviate the sufferings of vulnerable Nigerian women struggling to recover from the harsh economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The appeal is in tandem with the objective of the society which seeks to empower women and children, a goal it has pursued consistently since it was first founded by a group of international public-spirited women in Lagos in 1957.
The call was made at a virtual induction ceremony which took place at the society's Annual New Members’ Tea, where new members are formally inducted.
The event was attended by old and incoming members, including the elite group of past presidents of the 63-year-old association.
This annual programme allows new entrants to familiarise themselves with the objectives of the society and its charity interventions.
It is also organised to foster interaction between new entrants and old members, the executive committee and trustees.
Welcoming new members to its fold, Mrs Ibiwunmi Akinnola who is the 63rd president of the association, also reminded everyone of the lingering harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on women and children.
She noted that it is women who suffer the most during crises.
She said, “A lot of widows earn on daily basis and due to COVID-19, markets have not been running every day again. A lot of these Nigerian women are suffering and going through tough times.
"Once women suffer, automatically, this affects children, whichever way you look at it. We are at a time that a lot of these women now have to deal with responsibilities such as rent and school fees bills.
“Meanwhile, the better part of three months in this year, they haven’t been able to make ends meet due to the lockdown.
"We need quantifiable solutions to help these women. Perhaps we can count on government to support with provision of market for vulnerable women to do business,” she submitted.
Reaffirming the commitment of IWS, Akinnola said, “I look forward to new members, contributing in unique ways towards IWS objective 2020: The Transformation Agenda – Renewed and Refreshed... Ushering in a Decade of Quantifiable Solutions.”
Feyisola Abiru, who is the Chairperson, IWS Skills and Acquisition Centre, Lekki, said the centre will soon be adding agro business training opportunities for women, in addition to existing curriculum such as hospitality, wellness and beauty, fashion design, soap-making and catering, among others.
“We are proud that the IWS Skills and Acquisition centre has graduated over 1,700 women. The goal is not only for them to be employable but also create employment that would impact their community,” said Abiru.
Among new inductees of the association are Maiden Ibru, Chairman Guardian Newspapers, Morenike Ajanaku, Atinuke Ebi-Morris, Olufunke Adebonojo, Binta Adesina, Roli Arinze, Bose Owolabi, Florence Adeoya, Confidence Osein, Funmi Tijani and Olatoun Yusuf.
The list of inductees also include Funlola Fowora, Celestina Ibuwariso, Theresa Charity Owolabi, Deola Kamson, Adesuwa Esoimeme, Etaborunu Chinwe and Joko Abebe.