Empowering Women to Achieve Their Dreams: A Journey with Roseline Adewuyi

Empowering women is essential to building a better world, and Roseline Adewuyi is someone who truly embodies that belief. Roseline is a Nigerian activist, speaker, gender advocate, and mentor who is passionate about helping women achieve their dreams. Her own journey to success has been filled with challenges, but she has overcome them all to become a successful businesswoman and leader. Through her work, Roseline is inspiring women around the world to pursue their goals and achieve their full potential. In this exclusive interview, we will explore Roseline’s journey and learn about the ways she is empowering women to succeed.

Of your many notable accomplishments, which taught you the most and helped guide your future career?

My experience leading my feminist platform, Roseline Initiative, taught me the most and helped guide my future career. As the initiator, I gained a deeper understanding of the intersectionality of feminism and the importance of solidarity among diverse groups and it influenced my academics where I specialize in feminism and gender studies. It also helped me develop my leadership and communication skills, which have been invaluable in my current work as a university teaching assistant at Purdue University in the US, where I’m presently enrolled in a doctorate degree.

Which of these experiences was the most challenging and why?

The most challenging experience I have faced in the course of running Roseline Initiative is the social media blogging and the backlash, bullying, and negative comments that came with speaking out against gender inequality and advocating for women’s rights. This is because of the deeply patriarchal traditions of Nigeria where I do my social work. It was emotionally draining and at times dangerous, but I remained committed to the cause because I knew that the work was necessary for the betterment of the life of those young girls. My work is to break gender stereotypes limiting young girls, especially in education.

How has your upbringing/childhood helped to shape the philanthropist, advocate, and professional that you are today?

My upbringing and childhood have played a significant role in shaping the philanthropist, advocate, and professional I am today. Growing up in a family that prioritized education and community service instilled in me the value of giving back. Also, witnessing the gender disparities and injustices that women faced in my community growing up motivated me to work toward gender equality. These experiences have fueled my passion for social justice and my dedication to advocating for women.

Tell us about some obstacles you’ve faced as a gender advocate and triumphs you’ve experienced.

As a gender advocate, I have faced numerous obstacles in my journey toward achieving gender equality. The major obstacles are patriarchal beliefs and practices, and institutionalized discrimination. I have triumphed by working with like-minded individuals and organizations to create awareness and push for change. Some of my greatest achievements are the success stories of young women who have participated in school seminars or competitions organized by my platform and later testify to how the knowledge shared changed their lives. Some of them have chosen me as their mentor and we maintain a mentor-mentee relationship to this day.

What is the key message you wish to impart to today’s youth?

The key message I wish to impart to today’s youth is that they have the power to effect change in their communities and society at large. That the patriarchal traditions that thrive in their society can be changed. They should not just believe whatever they’re told but should be critical. They should believe in themselves and speak up against patriarchal injustice and discrimination, and take action, whether they are male or female. They should also actively seek knowledge and educate themselves about gender issues and intersectionality so that they can see how gender inequality makes a victim out of everyone.

Can you tell us some insider details about organizing International Women’s Day 2023?

Organizing the International Women’s Day program for 2023 was very exciting. The Roseline initiative worked closely with women’s rights organizations, government bodies, and other organizations including American Corner Ikeja, Boundless Hands Africa Initiative for Women and Children and SiDie Hub, to ensure a successful and impactful event. Some of the insider details include planning engaging panel discussions, exhibitions, digital skill training and workshop, and other activities aimed at raising awareness about gender issues and advocating for change in the digital gap. We reached out to influential women to participate and lend their voices to the cause as speakers at the program.

What are your thoughts on the digital gender gap?

I believe that the digital gender gap is a major issue that needs urgent attention. I think that need was what made it the theme of this year’s IWD. The gap represents the disparity between men and women in access to and use of digital technology, which limits women’s economic, social, and political opportunities. Women, especially in low- and middle-income countries like Nigeria, face numerous barriers such as inadequate education, cultural and societal norms, and lack of resources that hinder their ability to fully participate in the digital economy. Bridging the digital gender gap is essential in achieving gender equality and empowering women.

How can digital skill training help startups and small and mid-size enterprises?

Digital skill training is crucial in supporting startups and small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) in several ways. Digital skills are necessary for SMEs to improve their productivity, boost their efficiency, and reach a broader market. Digital training can enable entrepreneurs to develop new products and services that meet the demands of the digital economy. Digital skills can help SMEs to access financing opportunities, expand their networks and partnerships, and ultimately grow their businesses. Investing in digital skill training for SMEs is critical for economic growth and development, and while doing that we must ensure that girls are not excluded from the efforts.

Is it true that women’s exclusion from the digital world has cost low- and middle-income countries $1 trillion?

Yes, it is true that women’s exclusion from the digital world has cost low- and middle- income countries $1 trillion. This is according to the UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report. This figure highlights the significant economic cost of gender inequality in the digital economy. By 2025, that loss could rise to 1.5 trillion dollars without action, according to the same report. Women face a range of barriers that limit their access to digital technology, such as a lack of infrastructure, low literacy rates, and some cultural norms. These barriers hinder women’s ability to participate fully in the digital economy, limiting their opportunities to start businesses, access markets, and earn a decent income. Addressing the digital gender gap is not only a matter of social justice but also an economic imperative. It is time to prioritize gender-inclusive policies and investments that will enable women to thrive in the digital age.

How can people help promote female empowerment and gender bias elimination?

To promote female empowerment and gender bias elimination, people can start by educating themselves on the issue and being aware of their biases. They can also actively listen to and support women’s voices and experiences, whether in the workplace, at home, or in their communities. It’s important to challenge and speak out against sexist language and behavior, and to create a safe and inclusive space for women to speak up and be heard. People can also support organizations and initiatives that work towards gender equality and advocate for policies that promote women’s rights and opportunities.

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