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By Miracle Nwankwo

Tomi Adeyemi is an African in diaspora whose intents when it comes to writing is to be innovative about solving problems. She consistently and consciously channels her words as a problem-solving tool for the younger generation. As she amplifies the power of writing, the younger generation enlisted her works as a highly significant ladder to life success. At 24 she is popularly known as an American Writer, who many could not help but admire because of her great works in creative writing.

Tomi is a young, hardworking, determined and successful woman, who by all means, got herself to the beginning of a successful phase with utmost determination, no other sentence better describes this milestone achiever of the African descent. 

Tomi spends most of her time educating and inspiring over 4,500 writers on creative writing at tomiadeyemi.com, a blog she created for that same purpose. Life has not been a bed of roses for this exceptional writer, whose life story confirms the popular saying that “every success attained has a rough tale to it”.  Though she has also had her share of struggles, this courageous and creative diaspora woman has remained unshaken.

Tomi was born on the 1st of August in San Diego, California, into a family with a very humble background who struggled to make ends meet even though there was no single assurance that ends were ever going to meet.  Her father, although a certified physician back in Nigeria, worked as a taxi driver while he waited to transfer his qualifications and her mother worked as a cleaner. Luck smiled on the young African diaspora and she successfully graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature. 

When life seemed as if there was no hope, her passion to touch many lives, provided her an opportunity to study African mythology and culture in Salvador Brazil. 

Her journey in this field started way back at a very young age and her first story was written when she was only five years old. Considering her early writing passion one could easily describe her as the lady born with a golden pen in her hands.

 “I didn’t really get introduced to it! Writing has always been in me, it’s the first thing I ever did without anyone telling me what to do,” Tomi said. 

Accepting writing as her first weapon to change the world, she always made use of black characters in her writing as a way of teaching the blacks self-love and also improving the image of the blacks before other races. She often writes with an intention and purpose, particularly when it comes to the identities of her characters. 

When Tomi wrote her first novel, which did not yield positive feedback at the time, she became faced with two different options which was to either learn from her mistakes and move on or to remain submerged in self-pity and a long-term discouragement. She chose to stand tall and would not allow the failure to deter her, she instead gave herself a year to write another book which is the ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ that wowed the hearts of many.

She is most recognized for ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ and the book was picked up by Fox 2000 and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film adaptation. The hard work and passion she displayed in her works made her personal website and blog listed by writer’s digest as one of the best 101 websites for writers.

Reading the works of this milestone achiever, it is glaring that she patiently went through the route of self-development, which rapidly elevated her as a reference point to other writers. Tomi’s secret ingredient seemed to be her ability to see every major disappointment as an important stepping stone on her life’s journey. 

Regardless of the successes attained by Tomi, one of her most valued moments still remains whenever she comes in contact with young fans whose lives and belief systems have been greatly affected through her writing.

She discovered writing as a safe haven for her to escape into a world of complete possibilities, but also a sword for her to wield against all the injustices around her. In fact, writing provided the young lady with a voice and agency which became a reason for her existence. 

Tomi has successfully created writings that cannot but help proffer solutions to the existing challenges that face young women in our today’s world. As a unique publication born out of the desire to highlight the giant strides of women we raise our flags high in honour of Tomi Adeyemi – a successful woman in diaspora.

Working her way through the ranks of her family owned retail store, Magazine Luiza, Luiza Helena Trajano transformed the company from a retail store in Franca Sao Paulo, into one of Brazil’s leading retailers, now operating over 731 stores across 16 states in the country. Trajano has in the last decade, retained her place as one of Brazil’s leading women entrepreneurs, building and operating a multi-billion – dollar cooperation.

In an interview with Amazons Watch Magazine, Trajano leads us into the world of successful women entrepreneurs and shares with us her watchword in business – ETHICS

Discussing consistency in business, Trajano says: “People First”.

When I reached leadership positions in the network my uncles founded in the late 1980s, the situation was completely different from today, but what always remains is ethics and the need to put people first.

On Innovation and Evolving with the times, she says: do not separate the physical from the digital.

I believe it was the understanding that one should not separate the physical from the digital, but integrate the two. Digital is a culture, and we invested a lot in people so that the whole team understood the meaning of it and how it should act in this new reality. 

Precisely, with this integration, and transformation of the store as a place of experience, integrated with the digital as support for e-commerce. We must always be alert to new changes.

Improving Women’s Access to business financing:

AWM: According to the 2014 International Finance Corporation (IFC) report, Women often bear the brunt of poverty and limited access to economic opportunities, due to unfavorable access to financing. As an experienced business leader and successful entrepreneur, what can be done to improve women’s access to finance?

 Tajano: I believe this scenario has changed a bit in the last six years. Although access to finance is much more difficult for women, some measures have been taken, but impacted by the economic crisis of this period in the country. We need to promote inventive public policies for female entrepreneurship and facilitate and privilege women’s access to funding from public institutions.

AWM: Challenges of Women Entrepreneurship: What are those sentiments that derail the efforts of women in the investment circle? 

Tajano: It is the result of a predominant sexist culture and paradigms that established that women should not occupy leadership positions. Breaking this cycle requires quotas in publicly traded companies for women’s participation on boards. Quota is a transitory process to reduce inequalities. This is one of the steps, but many policies to encourage female entrepreneurship should be taken, as women are increasingly the decision-making center of the family in any purchase or investment.

Her Action on Violence Against Women:

AWM:In 2018, your reaction to the murder of Denise Neves dos Anjos a staff of Magazine Luiza, and her husband led to a well-attended protest. What is the drive that keeps you going?

Tajano: It was not a protest, but a concrete action to prevent further cases of femicide within Magazine Luiza, with internal reporting channels in cases of violence against women and full assistance to victims. The program was so successful that we set out to encourage other companies to do the same, going over the formula we adopted. This sharing is being a success, and dozens of companies are making this system of welcoming victims possible.

On Women Development:

AWM: The Brazilian Group Mulheres do Brasil (Women of Brazil Group) which you lead, today has over 40,000 women. What are the outstanding projects for this group and the successes registered so far?

Tajano: We have dozens of centers in cities all over Brazil and 17 Brazilian women residing abroad. These are not just monthly meetings, but we work intensively through various nuclei, with concrete actions for transformation in areas such as education, health, public policy, refugees, inclusion, racial equality, entrepreneurship, culture, combating violence against women and many others. others.

About Inspirational Leadership:

AWM: Winning many awards as a South American businesswoman comes with its challenges. How do you cope with these are what are the future projects and milestones?

Tajano: I believe winning a prize increases my responsibility to my country and the causes I advocate. My project for 2020 is to continue mobilizing civil society as much as we can so that together we can find a solution to the various causes we advocate.

Her Philanthropy and Access; Trajano says;

I continue to work actively for the company, but in parallel I have been increasingly involved in philanthropy.

I can be reached on Instagram @Luizahelenatrajano

As the world battles through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping across continents, physicians and healthcare professionals continue to share  information to help the public stay safe and prevent further spread of the deadly COVID-19.

What is a pandemic? Merriam Webster’s English dictionary describes it as a disease, prevalent over a whole country or the world, or occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. This is the situation of the COVID-19 today.

Based on what is currently known about the virus from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. 

Health professionals continue to share Information and sensitize the public on healthy ways to stay safe and prevent infection. Most of this information are being spread through the social media, community outreach, hashtags, and the like. Companies have also made it their responsibility to share updates on COVID 19, while sanitizers, disinfectants and social distancing have become a prevalent part of household and media conversations.

As the infection continues to spread across the globe, and scientists work around the clock for a permanent cure, it has become very important to keep the public updated about the dangers of the virus and the importance of practicing the health tips provided by professionals to prevent the virus, Some of which include:

 Social Distancing: This refers to a set of non-pharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality. This disease control method is most effective when an infection can be transmitted via droplet contact (coughing or sneezing); direct physical contact, including sexual contact; indirect physical contact (e.g. by touching a contaminated surface); or airborne transmission (if the microorganism can survive in the air for long periods). Which makes Social Distancing a suitable preventive measure for COVID 19.

Social distancing is not a new form of infection control. Historically, leper colonies were established as a means of preventing the spread of leprosy and other contagious diseases through social distancing, until transmission was understood and effective treatments invented.

Keep Your Hands Clean: The WHO advises that the most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations: Current evidence suggests that the coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the coronavirus in key environments. 

Finally, what happens beyond COVID-19? I have received several calls and messages from friends, colleagues, and family sharing information about how to stay safe during this pandemic. The messages range from wash your hands, wear a face mask, drink a lot of water, sanitize your hands, and drink a lot of vinegar (please do not do this). I have to ask, will these healthy habits become a part of our lives or do we drop them off and move on when the virus is defeated?

I think not, keeping a clean environment, washing our hands and maintaining a decent social distance in public places should be a part of our lives beyond the pandemic. These habits generally reduce the risk of opportunistic infections which keeps us healthy.

Therefore, while we practice these habits to overcome the coronavirus, let’s remain conscious of our health and make it a lifestyle to stay clean and conscious beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Boma Benjy – Iwuoha

The UAE is among four countries that have attained the largest progress in women’s political representation over a 25-year period, revealed an Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, report.

According to the report ‘Women in parliament: 1995 – 2020’, the largest progress in women’s representation has been achieved by “Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates, Andorra and Bolivia, with +57, +50, +42.8 and + 42.3 percentage points gained between 1995 and 2020, respectively, in their lower or single houses.”

The IPU report noted that global women’s parliamentary participation has more than doubled over the past 25 years, reaching 24.9 percent in 2020, up from 11.3 percent in 1995.

The UAE has positioned itself in fourth position globally as a result of the UAE’s 50:50 ratio for parliamentary participation. The report noted that the UAE is among three countries that have made “great strides in women’s participation” following the adoption of the 2019 presidential decree mandating gender parity in the UAE’s Federal National Council, FNC.

The report went on to cite the importance of quotas to drive up women’s representation in parliaments. “Before 1995, only two countries – Argentina and Nepal – applied legislated gender quotas,” the report noted adding that today, “elections in 81 countries are held under legislation that provides for gender quotas.”

The FNC and the IPU strengthened their mutual ties by signing a cooperation and technical partnership agreement in March 2014, which is the first to be signed by the IPU with a national parliament, on the sidelines of the participation of the Emirati Parliamentary Division in the IPU’s General Assembly “129-130,” held in Geneva from 12th to 20th March, 2014.

Source: wam.ae

The delegation of European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS has advocated for equal opportunities for all persons so as to bridge the gender inequality gap in Nigeria.

The Ambassador of European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen, made the call in Abuja recently after watching a stage play, August Meeting, as part of activities marking the 2020 International Women’s Day.

Karlsen said August Meeting sends a strong message to the women of Nigeria and across the world on the importance of fighting for the rights of the women which aligns with the theme of this year’s celebration, “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality,

Karlsen said the objective of the theatre play was to strengthen the engagement in a manner that positions them to overcome significant challenges that hinder women from actively participating in politics as well as reducing the incidence of gender based violence.

According to him, the EU was proud to see the display of August Meeting which is not only an amazing example of the creativity and the excellent art of Nigeria but also a strong message to the women of Nigeria and everywhere and the importance of fighting for the rights of women which fundamentally is human rights and which the Union has been involved in for many years.

“Today we are telling a story of what happened in 1929 and unfortunately now almost 100 years, these challenges are exactly present still. So making sure that we continue to fight for women everywhere, which aligns with this year’s theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” he said.

He stressed that the EU was working with all Institutions to see improvements. He said the EU has supported the opening of a national register against sexual offenders as well as sexual assault referral centres throughout the country.

In her remarks, UN Women Nigeria Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, said the August Meeting was a confirmation of the resilience and strength of women of Nigeria.

She said the stage play provided the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the progress made towards full attainment of women’s rights, as well as to build momentum and support for further action.

“I think if there is any message that this play showed to us, it is the confirmation of the resilience and strength of women of Nigeria. We saw a situation where more than ninety years ago when women came together and challenged the system; and actually made some sacrifice.

They made some losses but in the end they came out victorious,” Ms Lamptey said.

Source: This Day Live

Former Vice President Joe Biden committed to picking a woman as his vice president during a one-on-one debate with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during Sunday’s presidential debate.

“If I’m elected president, my Cabinet, my administration, will look like the country and I commit that I will in fact pick a woman to be my vice president,” Biden said. “There are a number of women qualified to be president tomorrow and I would pick a woman to be my vice president.”

It’s the first time Biden has said that he would pick a woman to be his vice president during the campaign as the veteran Democrat is on a major surge in the race, taking the lead over Sanders

The Vermont senator wouldn’t go as far as Biden in saying he would choose a woman to be his vice president, but said “in all likelihood, I will.”