By Jimoh Sulyman
Wife of Former Senate President and the founder, Well-being Foundation Africa, Mrs Toyin Saraki was among top dignitaries that graced the inaugural edition of the International Women’s Day Awards Gala in Lagos.
The event which was held on Sunday, 6th of March, was organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) .
It was held in partnership with the British High Commission, the European Union Delegation and the Embassies of France, Germany and the United States of America.
The awards gala which was organized to recognize and celebrate personalities that have contributed to the cause of promoting women’s leadership and gender equality in Nigeria was held at the residence of the United States Consul General, located at Ikoyi area of Lagos.
According to the organizers, The Gala is targeted at highlighting ground-breaking achievements of women in leadership positions in order to incentivise leaders to take further actions toward gender equality; and to advocate for women’s increased representation in governance
While lamenting the low level of representation of women in elected office in Sub-Saharan Africa, the organizers noted that, “it is critical that women are represented in decision-making across all sectors especially in the political sphere.”
Other notable people at the event are, the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, among others.
Prestigious awards were in several categories for: Political Leadership & Governance; Private Sector; Civil Society; Arts & Culture; Media & Entertainment; Feature Award: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow; Outstanding Woman Leader.
Toyin Saraki has over the years championed the cause of women protection and Empowerment through her foundation, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, founded in 2004.
It should be noted that Kwara State has been consistent in gender inclusiveness since 2003.
It will be also recalled that on the 12th of January, Mrs Saraki was honoured as the inaugural WHO Foundation Ambassador for Global Health due to her decades of work dedicated to women’s and children’s health and empowerment, ending gender-based violence, and improving lives in sub-Saharan Africa.