Nigerian Exchange, Ministry of Women Affairs to Explore Partnerships on Gender Equality

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 / 9:35 PM / NGX / Header image credit: NGX

Nigerian Exchange Group of Companies has joined over 100 stock exchanges across the globe to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 and ring the bell for gender equality in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, United Nations (UN) Women, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

The event, theme”Break the Bias: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future » was headlined by the Honorable Minister for Women’s Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen (OFR) and the Honorable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum. It brought together stakeholders to explore key issues that could facilitate progress towards gender equality through policy and finance.

In his opening remarks, Managing Director/Group Managing Director, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, said, “The global financial industry has a vital role to play in achieving gender equality. As the world calls for increased reallocation of finance to address the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and other pressing issues, there is an urgent need for stakeholders to reconsider the role of finance in addressing gender issues. If the promotion of gender issues was conceived as a business opportunity or a transaction, favorable policies should be implemented to allow investors to recoup their investments. At NGX Group of Companies, we remain committed to playing our part by implementing various initiatives to promote gender diversity and the empowerment of women.”

Speaking on the potential for collaboration to promote gender equality, Chief Executive Officer, Temi Popoola said, “We recognize our strategic position as the growth engine of Africa’s largest economy and we are leveraging From this unique position to promote the adoption of sustainable business practices, NGX Group of Companies is committed to supporting efforts to advance gender equality in our ecosystem through the introduction of gender-responsive financial instruments and inclusive, promoting increased participation of women on boards and in senior management and supporting capacity building initiatives to enable companies to achieve their gender aspirations”.

The Honorable Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed the willingness of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to work with NGX to promote gender equality. In her address, the Honorable Minister said: “Partnerships are at the heart of our philosophy of intervention at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. We welcome innovative initiatives that can create a future where women are economically empowered as business leaders and entrepreneurs and in leadership positions. in all areas of activity. We are open to collaborating with Nigerian Exchange Limited, the development partners here present and all relevant stakeholders, local and international, who can help create this future through innovative solutions, including gender linkages”.

During a fireside chat on inclusive economic policies aimed at breaking gender bias in women’s employment and entrepreneurship, Ms. Tinuade Awe, Managing Director of NGX Regulation, hailed the economic and societal benefits of the Women’s Financial Inclusion, stating that “women’s financial inclusion can create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families and communities, by building assets and helping to meet family needs”. Honorable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, stressed the need for collaboration at all levels. She said, “The contribution of women to the Nigerian economy is established. However, we have only 8 years to ensure we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, hence the urgency for Nigerians to go forward on gender equality”. She highlighted the potential of policies to improve women’s livelihoods through gender-responsive trade policies, noting that the domestication of the 2017 Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade, which encourages Member States to make trade and development policies more gender-responsive would help us do a lot to ensure better integration of women in the financial system and in the economy as a whole.

The event included goodwill messages from Ms. Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria; Lansana Wonneh, Deputy Representative, Nigeria and ECOWAS, UN Women; and a keynote address by Kevin Njiraini, Regional Director, Southern Africa and Nigeria, on “How Nigerian Businesses Choose to Challenge with the Nigera2Equal Program”. The symposium also featured a panel discussion to highlight the potential of leveraging sustainable finance to break gender biases in gender equality. The panel discussion moderated by Irene Robinson-Ayanwale, Division Manager, Business Support Services, Nigerian Exchange Limited, featured local and international speakers including Tokunbo Ishmael, MD/CEO, Alitheia Capital; Katherin Mignano, Operations Manager, IFC Inclusive Business, Gender and Economic Inclusion Group; Robyn Oates, Sustainable Finance Specialist, UN Women.

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