It was a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Library auditorium of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, where over 152 women gathered yesterday to aspire to be ‘A Better Me’, the theme of the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and Brightlight Studios as part of activities marking the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) as well as the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Defying the biting fuel scarcity in Nigeria and the status of Sunday as a rest day, the women clad in beautiful dresses turned up in their numbers to be a part of the programme which also contributes to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3: Promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.
In his welcome address the Director of UNIC Lagos, Ronald Kayanja, represented by the Centre’s National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, reiterated that women remained a priority group for the United Nations and reassured that the organisation would continue to make a positive difference to the lives of millions of people especially in terms of vaccinating children; distributing food aid; sheltering refugees; deploying peacekeepers; protecting the environment; seeking peaceful resolution of disputes and supporting democratic elections, gender equality, human rights and the rule of law.
Quoting the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, Kayanja noted that “The theme of this anniversary year, ‘Strong UN. Better World’ captures the importance of multilateralism. This is a time of test but far more one of tremendous opportunity.”
He added that the empowerment workshop aligned with the message of the UN Secretary General on UN@70 that the United Nations looks forward to working with people everywhere to build lives of safety, prosperity and dignity for all.
The Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop featured the business side of beauty which included Make-up skills and head-gear (Gele) tying lessons; Marriage/Relationship Counselling; Building a Successful Fashion Designing Business; and the Art and Science of making Desserts, Cocktails and Mocktails. The programme also featured exhibition of women’s products from the cultural industry; beauty products; Cakes and Pastries and women wellness products among others.
Having been asked to bring along their ‘Gele’ for the lesson on Head-gear tying which is gradually developing to be a thriving business in the country, the women brought out their different and colourful head-tie to go through the process of tying elegant, head-turning ‘Gele’. The ‘Gele’ tying session appeared to be the climax of the workshop as all the women looked upbeat and determined to learn the art of tying the head-gear.
A participant, Ms Olaitan Ajilogba, who conspicuously battled to get the tying right for a long period during the session expressed her delight that she eventually mastered the process and ‘tied a beautiful and glamorous head-gear.’
Commenting, another participant, Ms Aisha Joy Omosun, noted that the Make-up session was very instructive and educating and would add both social and economic values to the women.
The Executive Director of Brightlight Studios, Ms Lanre Anjola-Oyebode, had earlier explained the rationale behind the programme saying it was meant to grow the number of women who are economically independent and sufficiently empowered to support their husbands in raising educated and morally upright children.
Brightlight Studios, she added, would continue to collaborate with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos to empower and improve the wellbeing of women in Nigeria. UNIC Lagos and Brightlight Studios plan to make the Homemakers Lifestyle and Empowerment Workshop an annual event in Nigeria.