WISCAR Collaborates with UN Women to Launch the Private Sector Forum on Gender-Responsive Procurement

Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), a non-profit and non-governmental organization committed to advancing professional women in Nigeria and across Africa in partnership with the UN Women and Development Partner, has officially launched the Private Sector Forum on Gender-Responsive Procurement, an initiative dedicated to advancing gender equality within Nigeria’s private sector. This forum aims to promote and implement gender-responsive procurement practices, enabling private sector actors to lead the change. By addressing the gender gap in procurement, this initiative seeks to enhance women’s economic empowerment, foster innovation, improve organizational performance, and boost market competitiveness.

The Private Sector Forum has several objectives, such as highlighting the importance of gender-responsive procurement in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, identifying key challenges and opportunities in integrating gender and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) considerations into private sector procurement processes, and establishing a platform for ongoing dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collective action among private sector entities.

WISCAR Collaborates with UN Women to Launch the Private Sector Forum on Gender-Responsive Procurement
L-R: Fabia Ogunmekan, Advisory Board Member, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR); Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu, Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Patience Ekechukwu, Programme Officer, Women’s Economic Empowerment, UN Women; Folake Ani-Mumuney, Head, Sponsorships, Partnerships, Events & Collaborations, First Bank of Nigeria and Afiniki Mangzha, Executive Secretary, at the Establishment of the Private Sector forum hosted by WISCAR in Lagos recently, aimed at addressing gender inequality in procurement practices within Nigeria’s private sector.

Other objectives are to create a collaborative environment for advancing gender equality through affirmative procurement practices, facilitate the exchange of best practices, strategies, and lessons learned, equip participants with practical tools and resources for implementing gender-responsive procurement practices within their organizations. Promoting networking and collaboration among stakeholders committed to advancing gender equality in procurement is also a key objective of the forum.

“The establishment of this forum is a crucial step towards ensuring that women-owned and women-led businesses have equitable access to procurement opportunities,” said Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, Founder of WISCAR. “By fostering collaboration and sharing best practices, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable economic landscape that empowers women, drives innovation, improves organizational performance, and enhances market competitiveness and socio-economic development.”

The Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Dr. Dirisu Osasuyi, representing Tayo Aduloju, the CEO of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), emphasized the strategic business benefits of supplier diversity in her keynote address, “Supplier diversity, through the lens of gender inclusion in procurement opportunities, is not just a moral imperative or obligation, but a strategic business decision that can drive profitability and market share. We cannot overlook the gendered impact of corporate spending as the scale of corporate purchasing power can create catalytic value and shape diverse supply chains that unlock opportunities for women’s businesses and overall economic growth.”

The UN Women Nigeria, discussed “Operationalizing the Private Sector Forum.” The UN Women Nigeria outlined steps for private sector companies to start by signing on to WEPS, assessing procurement processes using the GRP assessment tool, developing a tailored action plan based on the results of the procurement assessment, and managing progress.

The establishment of this forum represents a significant step towards reducing the gender gap in procurement, fostering a more inclusive business environment, and promoting sustainable economic development in Nigeria. Organizations that endorse the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) will benefit from valuable resources and guidance from UN Women, enhancing their credibility and reputation among stakeholders. By committing to gender-responsive procurement practices, Nigeria’s private sector can drive social and economic growth, ensuring that women-owned and women-led businesses gain equitable access to procurement opportunities, thereby contributing to a more innovative and competitive market.


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