The Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke has advocated for gender equality at all levels.
She said this during her keynote presentation at the 3rd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Women Forum which held recently in Abuja.
She said: “As we are well aware, the 5th goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is Gender Equality. Gender Parity is also one of the African Union’s 2063 goals. To the UN, “The meaningful inclusion of women in decision-making increases effectiveness and productivity, brings new perspectives and solutions to the table, unlocks greater resources and strengthens development efforts….”
She further stated the importance of gender equality to the economy. In her words:
Coming down to the bottom line, the importance of gender parity in economic terms has been proven empirically in the well-cited McKinsey Global Institute Report of 2020, which stated that Nigeria’s GDP could grow by 23% or $229bn in five years (by 2025) if women participated in our economy to the same extent as men do.
She noted the differences between equality/parity and equity, which speaks to the outcomes we desire. She said that innovation provides new opportunities for women to engage with work and create efficiencies that drive growth.
Dr Jumoke acknowledged the fact that both male and female lawyers face the same thing in the profession making it open for new ideas and more level playing field for lawyers, regardless of gender.
She stated that, by acknowledging the challenges that both female and male lawyers face in an often ageist profession, steeped in its traditions, and taking steps to address them, we can advance a more inclusive and equitable profession; if we are truly open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, we can create a more level playing field for lawyers, regardless of gender.
She noted that this is paricularly important because lawyers are often at the vanguard of development, and are thus particularly well-placed to champion opportunities for greater access to justice and a more equitable society for all.
She stressed that in order to embrace the new, we must first be willing to open our hearts, our minds and our hands and discuss the future we want and how we can achieve it as lawyers individually and collectively– by leveraging creativity, innovation and technology.