By Ayo Ajayi
Professional women, particularly, those in the Engineering profession have been charged to brace up to take the task if they must have their place and space in such profession and any other sector.
They were also enjoined to support one another in order to achieve their set goals.
These and other matters form the crux of discussion at a seminar organized by the Association for Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Ota Chapter, Wednesday, to mark this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration at the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State.
The panellists, which included Dr. Olatokunbo Ofuyatan, Dr. Funmilayo Joseph, Engineer Damilola Oshin and Dr. Olamide Olusanya, represented by Engineer Temitope Sadik, deliberated on the theme, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” and noted that women were not claiming equality with men but were asking to be given their rightful place and space in all human endeavours.
Dr. Ofuyatan, a Civil Engineer, challenged the women not to be intimidated by the number of men in the profession but have the necessary information to take up any role. This, she said, must start from girl-child education. She also advised that they should ensure that their career does not suffer or affect their homes.
On her part, Dr. Joseph, a Material and Mechanical Engineer submitted that, though the race for gender equality was on in all sector, women should prepare for the task ahead if they must be given the opportunity. She added, “When we have generation equality, it makes the world a better place to live.”
In her submission, Engineer Sadik, an Electrical Engineer, advised that a girl-child should be brought up with determination to fight oppression. “They said women are weak, secondary and born for procreation, which should not be the case. If a girl-child is brought up with determination to say no to oppression, she would achieve her goals.”
Engineer Oshin, a Communication and Electronics Engineer, encouraged women to dream big but start little. “You want to do something big? Start little. Start doing something which will add up and build you up,” she advised.
The panellists unanimously agreed that there should be no excuse for any woman to fail if they channel their nature endowed passion into any given task.
The event, which had female engineering students in attendance, was moderated by Dr. Edith Alagbe, a Chemical Engineer and Chaired by Engineer Imhade Okokpujie, a Mechanical Engineer and the Chapter’s Chairperson.
Okokpujie, in her address, noted that women are embedded in innovation, creativity and recreation which make them unique, adding that they are needed for a stable economy. “As a woman, make up your mind on your goal, prepare yourself for it, knowing that there is a place for you at the top,” she encouraged the audience.
She expressed hope that the knowledge gained from the programme would help the students solve challenges and achieve their purpose in life.