Welcome to Nigeria!
The women pictured here were curated by team members from Nigeria’s Ake Book Festival, an annual arts, literary and cultural festival that has been running since 2013.
The festival collaborated with WOW in 2020 as part of The WOW Foundation’s first ever global digital festival, WOW Global 24.
Identity: Adenike Oyetunde (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Her passion driving conversations around the plight of disability in Nigeria led her to establishing the Amputees United Initiative, a social group specifically for amputees. She is a Goalkeeper (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) who uses her advocacy to push for the inclusion of persons living with disability in Nigeria.
"Disability also opens you up to one reality—the reality of the inequality that exists among people living with disabilities across genders. For instance, people believe that physical disability in women also impedes fertility. It's yet another eye opener into the different realities that exist in our community.”
Finance and Economy: Aishetu Dozie (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Aishetu’s passion for global finance began in the equities division of Goldman Sachs on the international desk in New York over 20 years ago. She went on to work for a USAID-funded project with the Nigerian government in its privatisation programme. In 2016, she filmed ambitious and successful African women on the continent and in the diaspora to showcase their lives and amplify their voice. The project is called African HERstory.
"I’ve increasingly felt that my purpose was to speak truth to patriarchy and to support women in their journey towards economic empowerment. I was raised by a single mother and it’s always been apparent to me that having money affords you more choices."
Education: Ada Nduka Oyom (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Ada Nduka Oyom
Ada is the Founder of She Code Africa (SCA), a non-profit organisation focused on empowering young girls and women across Africa through technical skills. She has been awarded as one of Ytech 100 honourees by the Future awards Africa 2019, Top 50 TechWomen of Lagos by TechCabal and most recently awarded as the winner of the role model award category in the Booking.com Tech Playmaker awards 2020
"Empowering the girl child with skills to level up, highlighting their untold success stories to the rest of the world, will continue to prove one of the fastest ways to achieving gender equality in the spheres we seek across the world."
Conflict: Amina Salihu (2020)WOW - Women of the World Foundation
Amina Salihu is Senior Program Officer with the MacArthur Foundation Africa Office. A consultant, farmer and feminist, Amina was a lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University.
She is technical designer and advisor to the EU RoLAC programme on the design of a web based sexual offender register for Nigeria.
"“Gender has to be looked at as smart economics, because a lot of the time people think it is just to push for justice. So, it becomes a bit more difficult to convince policy makers, especially men who do not have this women’s liberation reality because they are not women and do not understand why they need to plan with women or look out for them."
Cultural Life, Arts and Expression: Wana Udobang (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Wana Udobang is a storyteller and artist working at the intersection of writing, poetry, performance and film. Her poetry interrogates memory, womanhood, healing and re-imagination.
“I think that culture and creative expression can be a phenomenal portal into accessing the nuances of our existence. A conduit in navigating our histories, traumas, memories and joys, yet doing that work of reimagining the look, feel and taste of our futures. As people, as women, as creators, expression is part of our liberation practice. It is how we survive. It is how we thrive.”
Health: Ruona Meyer (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Ruona Meyer is an Emmy-nominated, multimedia journalist with 17 years’ experience, across print, radio, wire agency, TV and digital outlets across Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK. She is currently a PhD candidate at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK; her research interrogates the construct of networked power within investigative journalism nonprofits, specifically covering the impact of digital technologies on investigative journalism production within African-Diaspora networks.
"Sociocultural norms that say women must have something protruding on their chests to be sensual and normal, [it's] why many African women die of breast cancer – they seek help too late. In a world that links femininity, sexuality and self-worth to breasts, my flat chest is my placard – a symbol of my defiance to society’s patriarchal standards."
Climate Change: Doyinsola Ogunye (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Doyinsola Ogunye is the founder of Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC), a non-profit organisation focused on inculcating environmental and social values for the overall development of the Nigerian child. She has been able to prove her entrepreneurial wherewithal through the establishment of Shoreline Euphoria Limited, a company floating the business of hospitality and tourism, events management and rentals, eco-safety and environmental management.
"I started talking to a few people in my neighbourhood and we started organising environmental clean-up activities with children. I noticed that the kids were having fun while giving something back to the community"
Peace and Justice: Maryam Uwais (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Maryam Uwais, MFR is the current Special Advisor to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments. She is a recipient of numerous awards including one of the five McNulty Prize Laureates at the Aspen Institute, Colorado, following the activities of the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (2014).
Domestic Life: Saudat Salami (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation
Saudat O. Salami is the founder/CEO of www.easyshopeasycook.com, a foremost multi-platform fresh grocery delivery company in Nigeria that uses technology to provide domestic support services to working professionals. Her platform partners with various corporations with a large workforce that understand their role in helping employees achieve work/ life balance using a combination of support services which fit into HR policies.
Leadership, Power and Politics: Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi (2020) by Mohini UfeliWOW - Women of the World Foundation