At the 2023 African Women Lawyers Association(AWLA) Nigerian Chapter Parley, women in the legal profession were urged to prioritize self-development and empowerment. This includes a strong emphasis on gaining proficiency in new and potentially disruptive technologies. Additionally, they were encouraged to familiarize themselves with the consequences of globalization and liberalization on the legal industry. These efforts will enable women in the legal field to stay competitive and adapt to the evolving landscape of the legal profession.
The event emphasized the importance of female lawyers actively pursuing career advancement opportunities within their law firms or legal departments. Strategies such as networking, seeking mentorship, and enhancing leadership skills were encouraged. Additionally, the event aimed to address the challenges of balancing a legal career with personal life and offered insights on achieving a healthier work-life balance, managing stress, and preventing burnout.
Panelists advised female lawyers on the significance of continuously improving their legal skills and expertise. Workshops and seminars were suggested to help them stay updated with legal developments, enhance their research and writing skills, and excel in courtroom advocacy. Understanding financial matters was highlighted as crucial, with a focus on encouraging female lawyers to become financially literate, manage their finances effectively, and plan for their financial future.
Building a network of mentors and peers was emphasized as instrumental in career development, providing opportunities for female lawyers to connect with experienced professionals who can offer guidance and support. Gender equality and diversity within the legal profession were also discussed, with an emphasis on encouraging female lawyers to take on leadership roles and become advocates for social and legal change.
Furthermore, the event underscored the importance of personal development beyond one’s professional life. Topics such as mindfulness, time management, and setting and achieving personal goals were addressed to help female lawyers grow holistically. The legal landscape is evolving with advancements in technology, and staying updated with these changes was also highlighted as essential for a successful legal career.
The AWLA Parley is an event that focuses on self-development and empowerment for female lawyers. This event is dedicated to providing female lawyers with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to thrive in their careers and personal lives.
The 2023 AWLA Parley was attended by distinguished guests. Notable figures present included the Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Chairperson of the day, Mrs. Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, and Mr. George Etomi, the special Guest of Honour and facilitator of the session. Other notable attendees were the Keynote Speaker and former Director-General of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs. Roli Bode-George; Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rita Oki-Emesim, who oversees the Gender Unit at Force CID, Abuja; Mrs. Olivia Agbajoh, a former Member of the House of Representatives during the 2nd Republic and a presidential aspirant during the 2023 election season; Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe, a Partner at the law firm of The Law Crest and Chairman of the NBA Institute of Continuous Legal Education (NBA-ICLE) as well as numerous senior government officials.
Mrs. Efosa Etomi, the National President of AWLA, welcomed the delegates and guests and stressed the importance of strong advocacy to achieve AWLA’s objectives promptly. She emphasized the role of women in shaping a better world through empowerment and support.
The theme of the event, “The Role of the Nigerian Woman in Socio-Economic and Personal Development: Getting It Right – Fixing the Breach,” was discussed by speakers who called upon all stakeholders, especially within the legal profession in Nigeria, to align with AWLA’s ideals. Dr. Roli Bode-George, in her Keynote Address, highlighted the timely nature of the theme and emphasized the crucial role women play in the nation’s regeneration. She noted that women’s contributions have been undervalued and underappreciated, and she called for structured advocacy to amplify women’s voices. To achieve this, she stressed the importance of women equipping themselves intellectually, emotionally, and financially.
Mrs. Olivia Agbajoh focused on women’s participation in Nigerian politics and urged critical stakeholders to remove obstacles that hinder women from taking their rightful place in the country’s political landscape. She specifically mentioned financial barriers and the use of violence during elections as significant challenges that need to be addressed.
The Parley also featured an insightful discussion by Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe, who shared personal anecdotes and experiences to highlight the resilience of women in the face of adversity, and challenging societal perceptions.