Landmark University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discoveries (LUCRID) in conjunction with SDG5 (Gender Equality) commemorated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with the theme: Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate and Advance (I.D.E.A): Bringing Communities forward for Sustainable and Equitable Development, with a Motivational Talk for female students across all classes at Landmark University Secondary School, Omu-Aran on 9th of February, 2023.

The programme started around 4:00 p.m. with an opening prayer by the principal, Landmark University Secondary School, Mrs Abiola Omoniyi, and she also gave her welcome remarks as she welcomed members of the team led by Dr Olushola Akanmode, SDG5 Team Lead. The principal spoke on the role of girls in breaking records globally, stating that in LUSS, girls have emerged as the best students in the last three academic sessions. While appreciating Landmark University for organizing the program, she told the students to give full attention to the presentation.

The Team Lead, Dr Akanmode Olushola gave the opening remarks by acknowledging the proprietor base and management of Landmark University on which platform the programme was organised as she also appreciated the principal, other management and staff of Landmark University Secondary School for their cooperation in accommodating the programme. She also explained that the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an event that is commemorated globally and encouraged all students to be attentive so as to gain important lessons from the presentation by the keynote speaker. She went further to state that all students are scientists irrespective of their disciplines. She introduced the theme of this year’s event which is: Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate and Advance. Thereafter, she introduced the Keynote speaker, Dr. Roseline Ogundokun and welcomed her for her presentation. 

In the introduction of her presentation, the speaker stated that the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. She emphasised that gender equality implied all genders having equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. Dr. Ogundokun stated that a significant gender gap existed in the role of women and girls in science education globally and that there is a need to close the gap. She further stated that though the girl child has a lot of potential, certain courses of studies are seen as male dominated in science currently due to certain false representations. She encouraged girls to break boundaries and know that they can attain anything they set their mind to achieve with God’s help. She went further to explain the terms Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate and Advance. She emphasised the role of women in innovating, demonstrating, elevating and advancing knowledge both globally and locally. She further explained the contribution of Black women to outstanding innovations globally, speaking specifically of the contributions of Engineer Marian Croak, Marie Van Brittan Brown, Ellen Eglin, Betty W. Harris, Alice Augusta Ball and Patricia Bath who had made significant contributions to the world of science. She encouraged students on their potentials to also birth outstanding innovations in their respective fields by having the right mind set. 

In addition, the speaker mentioned Nigerian female scientists who have made contributions to knowledge in our context citing examples of Professor Ekanem Braide, Dr. Abimbola Alale, Dr. Rose Gidado, Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli, Ire Aderinokun and Ozak Esu. She encouraged young girls not to shy away from making contributions in Science, Engineering and Mathematics programmes which seem to be male dominated presently.

Dr Roseline Ogundokun concluded her presentations by citing her contributions to the Computer Science department which is currently male dominated, stating that she became a top researcher in her field by setting goals, dedication and commitment to her assignment. She encouraged young girls to have a strong belief in their potentials to accomplish any task they set their mind to achieve. She further encouraged stakeholders to make policies that encourage equality where everyone that deserves a position is given equal access irrespective of their gender. She also recommended the introduction of science education from an early stage by encouraging the girl child through scholarship and grants in the study of science. 

Following the presentation, the students asked questions ranging from coping with failure, discouragement, parental choice in careers and future career pathways and the speaker gave adequate answers to the questions. She went further to encourage the students to be bold and not to shy away from asking questions from their peers while further emphasising on the need to be prayerful and determined in the actualization of their set goals.

The LUSS principal gave the closing remarks by appreciating the keynote speaker and encouraging the female students to make a difference in their world. She went further by citing an example of being the first female principal in Landmark University Secondary School and encouraged the students that with God and self-determination, they will accomplish their set goals. Dr Okeniyi appreciated the principal and the entire board of Landmark University Secondary School for the opportunity to make contributions in bridging the gender gap in science. She further encouraged students to see their future as beautiful and bright assuring them on the role of determination in the actualization of their goals. The closing prayer was said by Dr Iwelumor Oluwakemi as the programme ended around 5:30p.m. There was a photograph session outside the venue immediately after the programme. 

Dr Olushola Akanmode Mrs Foluke Okocha

    SDG5 Team Lead       Secretary