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Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a distinguished feminist activist, gender and development specialist, policy advocate, and social sector expert. With decades of experience and numerous accolades to her name, she has been a formidable force in advancing women’s rights and social justice across Africa and beyond. Her journey from academia to global advocacy showcases her relentless dedication to gender equality and empowerment. Erelu Fayemi’s contributions have spanned across various sectors, from grassroots activism to high-level policy advocacy, making her a beacon of hope and a role model for countless women.

Academic Background and Professional Training

HE Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi holds a BA (1984) and MA (1988) in History from the University of Ife, Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She also earned an MA in Gender and Society (1992) from Middlesex University, UK, and received a PhD (Honoris Causa) in Sociology from the Tai Solarin University of Education (2014).

Leadership in Women’s Development

From 1991-2001, Erelu Fayemi served as the Director of Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), an international development organization for African women. During her tenure, she established the African Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI), which has produced over 6,000 women leaders across Africa. She is also the co-founder of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the first Africa-wide grant-making foundation for women’s organizations, and served as the first Executive Director from 2001-2010.

Founding the African Women’s Development Fund

Erelu Fayemi co-founded the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and served as its first CEO from 2001-2010. Under her leadership, AWDF supported thousands of women’s rights organizations in 42 African countries with millions of dollars in grants.

Current Roles and Initiatives

Currently, Erelu Fayemi is the CEO of Above Whispers Media Group, specializing in leadership development for women. She also runs an online community called Abovewhispers.com, where she lends her voice to issues affecting women and encourages them to rise above whispers, using their voices, resources, and positions where it matters. Recently, she established ‘The Wrapper Network’, an online mentoring and support program for young women. She served as a UN Women Nigeria Senior Advisor (2017-2018) and is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Africa Leadership Center, King’s College, London.

Legislative Contributions in Ekiti State

When her husband, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, took office as Governor of Ekiti State from 2010 to 2014, Erelu Fayemi became actively involved in policy advocacy, grassroots empowerment, and social inclusion programs. She led campaigns to enact several critical laws, including the Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Law (2011, revised in 2019), the Equal Opportunities Bill (2013), the HIV Anti-Stigma Bill (2014), the Treatment, Care and Protection Bill for Sexually Abused Minors (2020), the Ekiti State Mental Health Law (2021), and the Ekiti State Gender Composition Law (2022). She chaired the Ekiti State GBV Management Committee and the Ekiti State AIDS Control Agency (2018 – 2022) and led the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) from 2020 to 2022.

Erelu Bisi Adeleye-
Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi

Literary Contributions

Erelu Fayemi is the author of several influential works, including ‘Speaking for Myself: Perspectives on Social, Political and Feminist Activism in Africa’ (2013), ‘Speaking above a Whisper’ (2013), an autobiography, ‘Loud Whispers’ (2017), and ‘Where is your Wrapper?’ (2020). She also co-edited ‘Voice, Power and Soul’ with Jessica Horn (2008), a compilation of images and stories of African Feminists. Her books “Tray of Locust Beans” and “Demand and Supply” delve into socio-political and cultural themes, advocating for gender equality and empowerment.

The Wrapper Network: Empowering Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Erelu Bisi Fayemi initiated the “A Wrapper for Women Initiative,” providing hope and support to over 60,000 households in Ekiti. Inspired by a story of solidarity, this initiative symbolizes unity, protection, and care, encouraging women to support each other.

Encouragement to Young Women

Erelu encourages young women to be actively involved in politics and community affairs. She emphasizes the importance of persistence, self-awareness, and courage, urging women to raise their voices and demand action against issues like sexual violence.

Final Thoughts

Erelu Bisi Fayemi’s journey is a testament to resilience, advocacy, and unwavering commitment to gender equality. Her work continues to inspire and empower women globally, reminding us all of the power of solidarity and the importance of using our voices for change. Through her vast and varied efforts, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi continues to champion gender equality, advocate for social justice, and empower women across Africa and beyond.

Women of Rubies, a pioneering platform dedicated to celebrating and empowering women’s accomplishments, is excited to unveil the second edition of its highly anticipated Media Visibility BootCamp. This transformative event, designed to empower female business owners and emerging influencers, is set to become a quarterly occurrence, following the resounding success of the inaugural BootCamp in August.

The Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp transcends conventional learning experiences. It is a transformative journey meticulously designed to equip participants with the skills required to amplify their voices, elevate their personal brands, and make a profound impact in their respective fields. The program seamlessly integrates expert-led guidance, interactive exercises, and a nurturing community to ensure attendees reach their maximum potential for growth.

Visionary Leadership

Esther Ijewere, the visionary Founder of Women of Rubies, expressed her enthusiasm about the event, stating, “We are thrilled to host the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp once again, an exceptional event aimed at empowering and uplifting women in the realm of business. Our goal is to provide participants with the knowledge and resources needed to magnify their voices and achieve their pinnacle potential. It’s time for women to shine brightly and leave their indelible mark on the media landscape!”

What to Expect

The second edition of the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp will take place virtually on December 9th and 10th, 2023, offering limited slots. Participants are encouraged to secure their spots promptly by registering at womenofrubies.com/mediavisibility. This event promises a stellar lineup of speakers, thought leaders, and experts in the media, marketing, and business sectors.

Media Visibility Bootcamp 2.0

 

Meet the Panel

The distinguished speakers for this edition include:

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to learn directly from these accomplished professionals, gaining priceless insights and pragmatic advice to enhance their brand visibility and influence.

Fireside Chat Highlights

The BootCamp will conclude with a captivating fireside chat featuring prominent speakers:

How to Register

For more information about this event, the agenda, and registration details, please visit womenofrubies.com/mediavisibility.

Get in Touch

For media inquiries, sponsorship opportunities, or further information about the event, please reach out to:

Email: admin@womenofrubies.com

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to amplify your voice and enhance your media visibility. Join us at the Women of Rubies Media Visibility BootCamp and be part of a supportive community that empowers and uplifts women’s achievements. Register today at womenofrubies.com/mediavisibility.

In the evolving landscape of leadership, women are increasingly taking on influential roles, breaking the glass ceiling, and inspiring others along the way. While progress has been made, there’s still work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities to lead. A crucial part of this journey involves honing leadership skills. This article explores the essential leadership skills for women and how they can pave the way to success.

What is Leadership Skills

Leadership skills refer to the abilities and qualities that individuals possess to effectively guide, motivate, and influence others to achieve common goals and objectives. These skills encompass a broad range of attributes, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, empathy, adaptability, and the capacity to inspire and empower team members.

Leadership skills are not limited to those in formal leadership positions; they can be developed and utilized by anyone interested in making a positive impact on a group, organization, or community. Effective leadership skills for women are essential for driving progress, fostering teamwork, and achieving success in various aspects of life, including business, education, politics, and social causes.

Leadership Skills For Women

Leadership skills for women encompass a set of qualities, abilities, and behaviors that enable women to excel in leadership roles. These skills include effective communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. Leadership skills for women also involve navigating gender biases and stereotypes while asserting authority and influence in various professional settings. These skills are essential for women to thrive and positively impact as leaders in diverse fields and industries.

  • Communication Skills

Effective communication is at the core of successful leadership. It involves conveying ideas, building relationships, and inspiring action. Women can enhance their communication skills by honing public speaking abilities and assertiveness.

Public speaking, often regarded as a daunting task, is a skill that can be developed. Joining public speaking clubs, seeking mentorship, and practicing regularly can boost confidence and eloquence. Assertiveness is also vital, as it ensures that one’s voice is heard in meetings and discussions.

Women leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Malala Yousafzai have mastered the art of communication, using their words to inspire millions and drive positive change.

  • Empowering Others

Empowering others is another leadership skill for Women that deals with equipping and enabling individuals to take ownership of their actions, decisions, and personal growth. It involves providing them with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities needed to make meaningful contributions and take on increased responsibilities.

Empowering others also entails fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel confident, motivated, and encouraged to reach their full potential. This not only benefits individuals but also enhances team dynamics and overall organizational success.

  • Self-Confidence

Confidence is one of the key leadership for women. Becoming a female leader necessitates having the confidence to surmount obstacles and setbacks. 

Rather than succumbing to circumstances or relying on others to identify and eliminate barriers, self-assured women proactively take the lead, motivating and empowering those around them to do likewise.

Therefore, female leaders should believe in their abilities, knowledge, and expertise. This self-confidence not only helps in decision-making but also inspires others to follow. Practice self-affirmation, and remember that your voice and perspective are valuable.

  • Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a pivotal role in leadership. It encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to manage emotions. Understanding the emotions and motivations of yourself and others allows for better collaboration, conflict resolution, and team building. 

Women possessing emotional intelligence exhibit a sense of inner tranquility that allows them to lead without succumbing to ego-driven impulses. They adeptly navigate their emotions, ensuring they don’t interfere with their capacity to make sound decisions and maintaining assertiveness rather than reactivity.

Resilient women in leadership positions possess a deep sense of empathy towards those under their guidance, placing others’ needs on par with their own. Their focus extends beyond personal advancement, demonstrating an ability to gracefully disregard unsound advice without causing offense to the advisers.

Cultivate your emotional intelligence by actively practicing empathy and active listening.

  • Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

Leaders are faced with countless decisions and challenges. Effective decision-making and problem-solving are crucial skills for navigating the complex terrain of leadership.

Women may encounter unique challenges in decision-making roles, such as being second-guessed or facing biases. To excel in this area, it’s essential to have a systematic approach to decision-making, considering facts, risks, and long-term consequences.

  • Resilience and Adaptability

Leadership is not without its trials. Resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks—and adaptability—the capacity to thrive in changing environments—are vital attributes.

Resilience is cultivated through facing adversity with a positive mindset, seeking solutions, and learning from failures. Adaptability involves staying open to change, embracing innovation, and adjusting to new circumstances.

  • Leading by Example

Leading by example is a fundamental aspect of leadership where leaders inspire and guide their teams through their own actions and behaviors. It means living out the values, ethics, and principles you expect from your team. When leaders walk the talk, they not only gain trust and respect but also motivate others to follow suit.

This approach fosters a culture of integrity, responsibility, and excellence within the team or organization. Leading by example is a powerful leadership tool, as it shows that actions carry weight in leadership, often speaking louder than words.

As more women ascend to leadership positions, the landscape of leadership is diversifying, enriching organizations and societies. Leadership skills are not confined to gender; they are about capabilities, determination, and the drive to make a positive impact. Women who possess these leadership skills for women are paving the way to success, inspiring generations to come and proving that leadership knows no gender boundaries.