Addressing the Gender Gaps in West Africa: The Pathway to Facilitating an Egalitarian Future. 

G100 West Africa Meetings, Lagos, Nigeria, 20 February 2024 (16 Country Tracks) 

Country Tracks: Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin, Carpe Verde, The Gambia, Togo, Burkina Faso,

Guinea, Guinea – Bissau, Senegal, Cote D’lvoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria

The G100 West Africa Meetings took place alongside the 107th edition of the Women Economic Forum (WEF) which was held for three days in Lagos, Nigeria.
Imagine a vibrant West Africa, where the brilliance of women ignites every sector, where their voices resonate in every decision-making hall. It might seem distant, but this future is within reach. Yet, a stark reality stands in our way: a yawning chasm of gender inequality. Did you know, in this very region, women, who form over 50% of the population, hold a mere 16% of parliamentary seats? This imbalance echoes across society, from education and employment, to access to land and political participation.

Where does this gap originate? Deep-rooted norms, discriminatory laws, and economic disparities confine women to limited opportunities. Imagine a young girl forced to choose between education and early marriage, her dreams sacrificed on the altar of tradition. Picture a female farmer, barred from owning land, her harvest stolen by the weight of inequality. These are not distant stories; they are the lived realities of millions in West Africa.
But why should we care? Because gender equality is not just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic necessity. Studies show that closing the gender gap could add billions to the West African economies, improve education and health outcomes, and foster social stability. Imagine the potential unleashed when half the population can contribute fully!

Dr. Alex Okoroji, G100 Global Chair for Media Arts & Communication kicked off the meeting by welcoming all the souls sisters and G100 leaders present and thanked them for taking out the time to be there. She explained G100’s global mission and shared that the goal of the meeting was to address the challenges impacting women in West Africa, so they can offer solutions that could be implemented in their different sectors, as well as across different strata of society and communities of influence. Dr. Okoroji also discussed the G100 ELLEGOSSSE Recommendations and reiterated that G100 was open to partner with government, other multilateral institutions and civil society to bring about the much needed change.

The women at the meeting were excited to interact, share their personal experiences, and provide insights for bridging the existing gaps.

In her speech, Joy Amore, Nigeria Country Chair for Global Networking shared that she does not believe that women should be relegated to the background, that whatever women are given they multiply and she is a firm believer of women supporting other women wherever they find themselves, to create an avenue for other women to become greater, challenge the status quo and make societal changes.

Dr. Achi Bekomson, Country Chair for Mental Health, also discussed the impact of mental health challenges on women and how stigmatisation provides more imbalance, being that a woman’s mental wellbeing is the life wire of a woman’s productivity and balance at home and in the society. 

Amb. (Dr.) Regina Inem, Country Chair, Youth Enterprise, Empowerment and Leadership Wing spoke at the G100 West African Meeting. She thanked the G100 Founder & President, Global Chairs, Country Chairs, Friends, Leaders, Changemakers, Press and all supporters of the women voice gathered. She asked a pertinent question.

So, how do we bridge this divide? We must dismantle the barriers, brick by brick. We need Bold Policy Reforms, ensuring equal access to education, healthcare, and land ownership. We need Grassroots Initiatives that empower women, from financial literacy programs to leadership training. We need “Regional Cooperation”, breaking down silos and sharing best practices. And finally, we need international support, investing in organizations that champion women’s rights.

This mission won’t be easy. It demands courage, collaboration, and commitment. But imagine the future we can build: a West Africa where a young girl’s dreams take flight, where a woman farmer thrives on her own land, where a parliament truly reflects the voices of its people.

This is not a fantasy; it’s a vision within reach. Let us join hands, let our voices rise in unison, and together, let us bridge the divide. Let us create a West Africa where equalityis not just a word, but a lived reality, for every woman, every girl, for a brighter future for all.

The Speakers include:

1. Dr. Yetty Ogunnubi (G100 Nigeria Country Chair Brand Creation & Marketing Wing)
2. Dr. Naomi Osemedua (G100 Nigeria Country Chair Media Arts & Communication Wing)
3. Dr. Achi Bekomson (G100 Nigeria Country Chair Mental Health Wing)
4. Dr. Regina Inem  (G100 Nigeria Country Advisory Councils Youth Enterprise, Empowerment and Leadership Wing)
5. Joy Amore (G100 Nigeria Country Chair Global Networking Wing)


Dr. Alex Okoroji, G100 Global Chair for Media Arts & Communication