The Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) had her 22nd national biennial conference in September, 2021 at the prestigious University of Ibadan International Conference Centre (ICC), Oyo state with Pastor Mrs. Ibukun Awosika delivering the Dr. Abimbola Awoliyi Memorial Lecture and Keynote address on “Leadership, Governance and Women’s Health”. During the address she emphasized that a woman is not the carer of her daughters or the women in her household or in her surroundings, but she is the carer of the family and the nation because a woman does not discriminate in terms of whom she is looking after. She provides care and service to all gender.
Women should focus more on things that unite us and not those that divide us. Women should support fellow women ~ Pst. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika
On leadership, she encouraged women to “Create that network of power and change for good, not change for just change. Also, Make your own plans, decide where you want to be in the next 20years, do your gaps analysis to determine what is missing from where you are, what you want and what you need to do”. She went further to highlight that some women who have served or are serving as Deans of departments or Heads of clinical services, should start pushing for the right changes, ask for the review and reconsideration of the medical curriculum to produce the leaders of the medical field that you want tomorrow –It’s time to update our medical curriculum!
Self invest, prepare yourself for the future. Be deliberate and intentional… Women have the power of influence, but you must earn it ~ Pst. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika
She also revealed that “Leadership is cultivated, thought, experience gained, knowledge gained and a talent. If you don’t seek it, you don’t get it. Also, when someone holds power, they will never give it to you. You have to fight strategically to get it and share it”. Further stating that “This is not a gender war” but Men should understand that when they allow women to use their talent, everyone benefits. This is because there are two sides to a coin and one side cannot carry the duties of both sides. Hence, you need the two sides working together efficiently in order to be able to achieve the results that you seek. Therefore, we need women on board and Its not about tribe also but about who can get the work done.
Your knowledge won’t matter when it comes to decision-making. It’s the people with the power that will ultimately make the decisions that matter. Work to get that POWER, so you can influence positive decisions on issues affecting women and children. After all you can’t shave a woman’s hair in her absence ~ Pst. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika
Likewise, she mentioned that “supporting husbands are blessings”, as she went on to praise and thank her husband for supporting her and called him “a gem among men” while encouraging men to be a real “He for She”. She then concluded saying, “… women, prepare yourself for the leadership that you seek, fight for the right governance that give you the opportunity to compete and participate, and as you seek for solutions to women’s health, remember the skills you need to lead overall is beyond the health of a woman. Aim to be a leader in the health sector. After all, women don’t only see women and children in the theatres and consulting room. You see men also. You have husbands and sons. Therefore, you must have understanding about women’s health and fight for it, you must fight for the health of your husbands and your sons and for the men and women of the nation.”
Video of Keynote address by Ibukun Awosika at the 22nd MWAN Biennial Conference in Ibadan.
The national biennial conference which also doubles as the Investiture of the 23rd National President of MWAN – Dr Lilian Adekemi Otolorin of MWAN Oyo – witnessed the swearing in of the new executive team for the 2021 – 2023 MWAN biennium led by the National President and her National President Elect – Prof. Rosemary Ogu of MWAN Rivers. We likewise felicitate with Dr. Mininim Oseji, the out-going National President for the 2019 – 2021 biennium, on a successful completion of her graceful tenure.
MWAN is a non-political, non-sectarian, non-profit making organization of qualified female Medical and Dental Doctors in Nigeria. With our motto being ‘healing with the love of a mother’, our aim over the years has been improving the health of women and children and to expand the role of women in the achievement and maintenance of health in the States and Nation. The Association has been carrying out programmes targeted at achieving SDGS particularly Goals 3 and 5 as well as the Beijing Declaration and platform for Action. Contributors for this article are Dr. Benedicta Ijeoma Nwankwo (MWAN Lagos YDF), Dr. Evo Esievoadje (MWAN National YDF Coordinator, 2019 – 2021 biennium) and Dr. Mininim Oseji (MWAN National President for the 2019 – 2021 biennium).