The Visiting Scholar National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof.(Mrs) Felicia Etim has urged government at all levels to make policy decisions to address the challenges that are withholding women from reaching their full potentials.
Delivering her keynote speech titled “Female Academic Advancement : 50/50 by 2030” in a conference organised by South- South and South- East female DAAD Alumni Network at Federal University Otuoke, Prof. Etim called for a step up for female academic advancement 50: 50 by 2030.
According to her, the objective of the paper was to ignite participants for productive deliberations and to sharpen the currency of stakeholders for exchange necessary for a 50: 50 equal status to be achieved by 2030.
Prof. Etim who is also a former Librarian of University of Uyo posited that the much advocated paradigm shift for gender equality is yet to be achieved. She called on policy makers to leverage on the provision made by the Sustainable Development goals framework and scale up the commitment to achieve 50: 50 by 2030.
The keynote speaker also suggested that passing new laws and strengthening existing ones is one way to step it up “creating programs to eradicate violence against women and girls, encouraging women’s participation in decision-making, investing in a national action plan and policies for gender-equality , creating public education campaigns to promote gender equality is the way” she advocated.
Declaring the conference open, the Vice Chancellor Federal University Otuoke, Prof. Seth Accra-Jaja lauded the efforts of the organizers to use the event to strengthen women and create awareness on equal gender balance.
Endorsing the paper presented, Prof. Jaja described it as apt and timely noting that it was geared towards the enhancement of women in the Academia and Research.
The Vice Chancellor while expressing gratitude to German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) described it as one of largest funding organizations in the world that supports international exchange of students and scholars.
Prof. Jaja who hoped for a successful conference expressed optimism that the outcome of the event will map out strategies to overcome the apparent or perceived setbacks or challenges to the advancement of women in Research and Academia. He announced that the paper presented at the conference will be published in a Journal for shared circulation and positive action.
The Chairman, local organizing committee and Director Research and Quality Assurance, Federal University Otuoke, Dr (Mrs) Iheoma Adekunle , in her opening remark said the essence of the conference was to create awareness on DAAD for more beneficiaries especially in the South- South and South- East region.
Dr Adekunle, called for more participation especially by female participants to address gender imbalance in the academia.
The 3 day conference which started on November 23rd to 25th 2016 drew other plenary speakers across the University of Ibadan, University of Benin, OAU, University of Port-Harcourt and Federal University Otuoke.
The theme of the maiden conference is:”Exchange for Change in Academic Performance”.