In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022, Business Africa Online (BAO) hosts 30 Inspiring Women #BreakingTheBias. These 30 Inspiring Women were selected across different industries to speak on this year’s IWD 2022 theme #BreakingTheBias. And also to share how they are Standing Out and Standing Up. Excerpt.
“International Women’s Day is a timely reminder of the progress made over the past few decades around the advancement of women and improving gender parity. The day is also an opportunity to remind each other of the work that still needs to be done to realise the global goal of gender equality.” Read More.
“As an entrepreneur I am always happy to tell my story and the barriers I face every time, and how I overcome them. Like they say “Your story is your strength and be shameless about the hustle “. Office furniture manufacturing is expected to be a male dominated industry but I thrive very well and pounding the ground even harder than the men…” Read More
“Gender-balanced leadership is essential for inclusive economic development, societal advancement and the sustainability of our planet. Whilst women and men make great leaders, women face systemic barriers – from unconscious bias to cultural constraints and negative perceptions. We need to #BreakThatBias for the well-being of mankind. Happy International Women’s Day!”
“International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge, honour and celebrate women around the world across every level of society, for the contributions they make each day to society. Women as mothers, wives, CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, board members and everything in between. This year’s theme of #BreakingTheBias is a perfect way to remind society of the unconscious biases that still exist in society and the uphill struggle women have to face everyday to have a voice and to be heard. At Aruwa Capital we are very excited to be breaking this bias by having more women as capital allocators and empowering the next generation of female entrepreneurs by encouraging women to create their own tables rather than asking for a seat.”
“I AM WOMAN BY EMMY MELI”.
This song is a reminder to what we are as women, what I am as a woman, and despite all the beat down we get we keep rising, we keep winning, and with every stone thrown, we build up. Read More
“With female entrepreneurship on the rise globally, it is no surprise that Africa boasts one of the highest regional proportions of female entrepreneurs, where 1 in 4 women run their own business. We can visibly see evidence of this in our daily lives.” Read More
“We grow up in societies where we are made to believe that a girl child cannot do some of the things. We get into the classrooms where different systems exist to say a girl child cannot do certain subjects. In the workplace, there are still positions that women cannot occupy. May we be the generation whose decisions are not biased because of gender. May we never discriminate against HER because she is a woman. May we be the generation that champion and create environments that break the bias toward women. Let us #BreakTheBias, it is everyone’s responsibility.”
“We are in 2022 and still asking for a world that is free of bias, discrimination and stereotypes. Clearly, there is some resistance for this not to have already happened. We know that half the sky is held up by women. So why can’t we live in an inclusive world by elevating women’s visibility instead of having us predominantly hidden?’ We all need to take action to #BreakTheBias and question society and demand more from them. We must break the bias and increase access to equity, safety, justice and recognition for every woman. We must not only celebrate every aspect of the social, economic and political achievements of women, every single day. But we must campaign for equality and openly call out gender bias. We must #BreakTheBias NOW.”
I was 16 and just gained admission into the University. My brother who was a year older was already in University. I could not wait to join him but a shadow was cast over my dreams. My father could not afford our fees. The advice when he went to borrow money from a good friend was, “let your daughter stay back. She will only get married anyway.” Well my Dad did not take the advice. Dad trudged on stoically and with his sacrifice and that of my dear Mother, my brother and I graduated. Dr. Henry Udueni- after a 3rd degree in the UK, sadly passed. I went on to my 2nd degree, started a 3rd and I’m here. I have the piviledge of seeing the joy and gratitude in my Dad’s eyes that he did not hold me back. To build inclusive environments, safe spaces for all to thrive, to break barriers and provide equal opportunity for growth, takes vision and true commitment. It takes my Dad. #BreakingTheBias
“I’m excited about the #BreakingTheBias campaign because I believe that the first step to breaking bias is consciousness. A lot of bias is unconscious and you cannot break a habit you don’t even know exists. This campaign is a great start to shining a light on various elements of bias impacting women across domains. It’s only then that we can do something to change it. Happy International Women’s Day!”.
“Regardless of gender, International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 is a beautiful moment to reflect on and celebrate the strides made in women empowerment globally. However, gender biases and stereotypes remain deeply ingrained in our families, homes, societies and organizations, influencing the way we see and treat our girls and women”. Read More
In celebrating International Women’s Day and reflecting on #BreakingTheBias as a career coach it is natural that I consider the workplace. I think of biases like female bosses are terrible or that women have glass ceilings and at times even glass cliffs. Read More
This International Women’s Day commemoration is another wonderful opportunity to celebrate women the world over. In the last one year, Read More
Feeling like an Elephant trapped in the body of an Ant, having great potential without the architecture, strategy or replication structure to actualize it; I spent my formative years seeing women give up Read More
“I operate at the intersection of democratising capital to African female founders. Designing the impact of that capital and ensuring that women (and small businesses) are funnelled to the top through strategic partnerships. This year’s International Women’s Day theme #BreakingTheBias is a way to highlight the opportunities available to enable women to break the bias. And to connect them to enablers of these ecosystems who have (and continue to) trail brazed. Network(ing) is one of the currencies you can give women to trade equitably. It is a long road ahead to ultimately break the bias that’s been tapestried onto women’s capabilities. But days like IWD and publications like Business Africa Online (BAO), continue to mark the necessary evil of the work that is being and has to be done”.
#BreakingTheBias – This theme resonates with me so deeply because we all deserve a seat at the table. It does not stop there, we also deserve the right for our voices to be respectfully heard in and out of the boardroom. Read More
I could easily swap my book title Mum, Find Love Again for #BreakTheBias. The inherent messages are so in sync that I feel opportune to have launched my book this year. Ageism, sexism, inequalities, racism, abuse, are all steeped in biases. Biases remain the leading root cause of non-inclusion, and therefore sit at the heart of a sustainable gender equity strategy. Progress in gender equity, progress in attaining women’s rights over the coming decades will be contingent on how much progress is made. In dismantling unconscious biases and nuances that drive unequal behaviors and societies.
Affirmative action and increased access to education will provide more women with economic security and opportunity. Yet, these women will continue to contend with traditions, lifestyles and faith systems that entrench biases. As we #BreakTheBias, we redefine culture and shape a new meaning of life and living. I am excited to be alive in these times. I am more excited for a future where #BreakTheBias will no longer be necessary.
As an African and Muslim woman who moved to the United States at 20 years of age and immediately joined the United States Army. I understand the bias I carried with me into a foreign land and the military. Everyday, questioning myself given my background. Read More
International Women’s day is a day to reflect and take account of our progress as Women. Celebrating Women from every work of life and culture. With a special emphasis on #BreakingTheBias, that as women, we face everyday. Enjoying our femininity and embracing our power, knowing that every obstacle that stands in our way can be overcome. Standing up Tall, Proud and as Equals in our own rights with no Bias and barriers to keep us from our goals.
“We live in an imperfect world and the sooner we understand that the better. We can start working on how to improve and one area that we need to focus is to remove the bias against women. Women have traditionally been viewed as the weaker sex. We have more men as Presidents, Vice Presidents, CEOs of companies and Members of Parliament than women. This needs to change. Women have the power, potential and prowess to excel in any role. More women should be considered for roles in top leadership. It’s time to break the bias.”
This year’s theme is “Break The Bias.” It’s goal is to help us “imagine a gender-equal world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.” So, Read More
I look forward to a world that is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Women are so powerful when we choose to step into the fullness of our strengths and capabilities. And we have got to create a more enabling environment for women to do just that. We must empower and encourage more women to show up, speak up and show forth.
Women must also begin to take the plunge and show up where it matters. We need more women to take their place everywhere, with skills as their superpower. The world is more beautiful when we all show up and work together. The outcome is indeed unfathomable when we all, no matter race, gender or social class, can show up in our truest, empowered form.
We must realise that different persons have different circumstances and require different resources and opportunities to BECOME. We must choose to fix the playing field and #breakthebias. We all have a role to play in creating the bias-free world we desire, from schools, to workplaces, to politics, to entrepreneurship. I choose to EMPOWER women. I choose to #BreakTheBias. Do you?
I am a woman who is fearless and unbelievably strong. There are so many forces that work against Black female entrepreneurs. Access to capital and support is the biggest piece. Society can make things extremely difficult for Black female professional/business owners in different ways such as being labelled “unpromotable” because of who you are not which has nothing to do with your skills or maliciously cancelling a business contract which is well planned out. Against all odds, Black women are strong, smart and have the ability to wither the storm and come out stronger and more successful.
Advice to Black women
- Never cry or worry about the past. Just focus on what you want to achieve
- Always remember that those that really want you to win, will always find a way to help you win without excuses.
- Keep in mind that you’re built differently.
As the founder of B4brand, a storytelling-driven marketing agency based in Toronto, Canada, breaking unconscious bias in marketing and advertising is a commitment to create truly diverse and inclusive content from an authentic voice that resonates with the audience. This goes far beyond simply using diverse imagery and brands must challenge existing stereotypes and biases to do better in order to build genuine connections with their audience. –
Imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, a world where difference is valued and celebrated. Where we collectively #BreakTheBias.There are key terms used. Conscious and unconscious bias. The term “unconscious bias” describes our tendency to classify others through characteristics that are not valid. We can break the bias in our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges and universities. As we celebrate women this year, breaking bias is limited to our mental attention and we can all #breakconsious and unconscious bias towards our women.
This year’s International Women’s day theme: #BreakingTheBias is really important for me as a black women and also the #BeMe digital inclusion program of raising one million females aspiration in Science Technology engineering math related careers. Read More
Individually, I think we’re all responsible for the way we think and the way we behave – all day, every day. As women, it’s high time to let go of the stereotypical and societal beliefs that we have clung onto which is limiting our impact in society and the world at large. Change is the only thing that remains to be constant, with reference to this year’s theme as we commemorate International Women’s Day – 2022, I believe we can break bias in our communities, workplaces, schools, universities and all works of life. We just need to make conscious efforts in order for us to move ahead and level the playing field.
This year’s international women’s day theme, #BreakingTheBias is a significant one. Why? Because for as long as I can remember, there has always been one, or in some cases, several bias against women. Read More
We are a human force that nurtures and uplifts the world. Let us not wait to be hailed for our grace, courage and determination. As Talleyrand aptly said, “Where so many men have failed, a woman can succeed. Therefore, let’s break the prejudices and stereotypes, let’s be masters of our destiny because there’s a bigger dream for us #BreakTheBias
Women can move mountains when they work together to support each other, co-create and give everyone the opportunity to take a step further towards attaining set goals. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked. An inclusive society where women feel at home just like men in key roles and decision-making positions, at the level of access to institutions and finance will go a long way to ensure this.
Navigating The Evolution: The Future of Retail and E-commerce in Nigeria
By: F. O Elegba
Tracing the evolution of e-commerce in Nigeria is a compelling journey that mirrors the nation’s technological evolution. Rewind to the early 2000s when the internet began to weave its way into the fabric of everyday life, Nigerians still had a lackadaisical approach to shopping online, then. e-commerce pioneers emerged, navigating uncharted digital territories.
In those nascent years, online transactions faced skepticism due to concerns about cybersecurity and a lack of trust in digital payments. Yet, trailblazers persisted. Platforms like Konga and Jumia took the bold step of creating online marketplaces offering a variety of products to a population hungry for convenience. The mid-2010s marked a turning point as internet accessibility expanded. With the proliferation of smartphones, more Nigerians could connect to the digital realm and this shift in connectivity was a game-changer, providing the momentum needed for e-commerce to gain widespread acceptance.
Simultaneously, innovative payment solutions emerged, addressing the trust deficit. The adoption of cash-on-delivery options bridged the gap between traditional and online shopping, gradually building confidence among consumers to make the leap into the digital marketplace. As the last decade unfolded, a surge in local startups disrupted the e-commerce landscape. Entrepreneurs harnessed the power of social media, creating platforms tailored to the Nigerian market.
This localization trend not only diversified product offerings but also embraced the cultural nuances that define Nigeria’s diverse consumer base. The COVID-19 pandemic, though challenging, accelerated the ecommerce boom. Lockdowns and safety concerns fueled a surge in online shopping, pushing both business and consumers to embrace digital transactions more than ever before.
As Nigeria embraces the digital era, the landscape of retail and e-commerce is undergoing a transformative shift. With a burgeoning population and increasing internet penetration, the future promises a dynamic blend of traditional retail and tech-driven shopping experiences. Having traversed the diverse landscapes of both local and Western retail experiences, I foresee an intriguing future for Nigeria’s retail and e-commerce sectors- a future where the convergence of tradition and technology paints a vibrant picture. In Nigeria, where community bonds are strong, brick-and-mortar stores remain integral.
However, the digital wave is unmistakable. With a deep understanding of the local market and Western retail dynamics, I believe that e-commerce will be a catalyst for change, providing unparalleled convenience to a tech-savvy and young population. The future isn’t about the demise of brick-and mortar stores, rather it’s a harmonious convergence of physical and digital realms. Retailers are likely to embrace innovative technologies, such as augmented reality and AI-driven personalization, to enhance in-store experiences and stay competitive. The Key lies in adapting global best practices to the unique nuances of Nigeria.
As digital payment solutions gain traction, we’re witnessing a shift towards cashless transactions, marking a pivotal moment for the e-commerce landscape. This digital evolution is not about replacing traditional markets but rather enhancing and expanding their reach. I see the potential for innovative technologies to redefine the in-store experience in Nigeria. Augmented reality and AI driven personalization can be seamlessly integrated to cater to diverse consumer preferences and elevate the overall shopping experience.
Yet, success in this evolving landscape hinges on more than just technological advancements, it requires a deep understanding of local intricacies and commitment to building trust. Cybersecurity measures must be robust to reassure consumers, while business practices should be transparent to foster confidence in online transactions. In this narrative of change, the fusion of local insights with global perspectives becomes paramount. As someone with dual experiences, I advocate for an inclusive approach that embraces the tapestry of Nigeria’s cultural diversity while leveraging the efficiency and innovation from Western practices.
In the coming years e-commerce is poised to play a pivotal role in reshaping consumer behavior, the convenience of online shopping, coupled with evolving payment solutions, will drive a surge in digital transactions and as logistics infrastructure improves, the scope for nationwide delivery networks will further boost the e-commerce ecosystem. In conclusion, the future of retail and e-commerce in Nigeria is a harmonious blend of tradition, technology, local wisdom and global innovation.
A tale of synergy- striking the right balance between traditional and digital strategies, coupled with customer-centric solutions by bridging worlds and adapting strategies with cultural sensitivity. Nigeria can unlock its true potential of retail landscape in the exciting chapters that lie ahead, and as stakeholders we must embrace innovation, adaptability, and inclusivity to thrive in the exciting time ahead.
The Role Of Medical Legal Opinion In Potential Medical Negligence Matters
Written By: Dr Kim Lamont-Mbawuli & Adv Dennis Chamisa
There is a reluctance of doctors to testify against each other, compromising the necessary checks and balances within the medical profession. As such, obtaining a comprehensive expert opinion is important to safeguard the rights of all parties involved in legal matters.
Medical negligence is a complex and sensitive area of law that involves cases where healthcare providers are alleged to have breached their duty of care, resulting in harm to patients. In such cases, legal practitioners often require the assistance of medical experts to establish whether negligence occurred. This is where the crucial role of medico-legal experts in providing a necessary service to society in the form of a medico legal opinion is indispensable
In this article, we will explore why legal practitioners need a medical legal opinion in potential medical negligence matters.
Interpretation of Medical Records
One of the primary reasons why legal practitioners require a medical legal opinion in medical negligence cases is the interpretation of medical records. Medical records are crucial evidence that can determine whether a healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care. However, these records are often filled with complex medical jargon and abbreviations that may be difficult for lawyers to understand fully.
A medical legal opinion from a qualified expert can bridge this gap. Medical experts can review and interpret medical records, ensuring that all relevant information is considered. They can identify discrepancies, omissions, or irregularities that may indicate negligence, providing invaluable assistance in building a strong legal case.
Establishing Standard of Care
Medical negligence cases hinge on whether a healthcare provider breached the standard of care expected in a particular situation. Determining the standard of care requires specialized medical knowledge and experience. Legal practitioners often rely on medical experts to establish what a competent healthcare provider would have done under similar circumstances.
A medical legal opinion helps in defining and explaining the standard of care to the court and the jury. It allows legal practitioners to present a well-substantiated argument, demonstrating how the defendant’s actions or inactions deviated from accepted medical norms.
The Role of Expert Opinion in Courts
In medical negligence cases, expert witness testimony is often crucial. Legal practitioners need medical experts to testify about the standard of care, causation, and the extent of the patient’s injuries. These experts can provide objective, professional opinions that carry significant weight in court.
A medical legal opinion serves as the foundation for expert witness testimony. It allows the expert witness to provide a well-informed and credible account of the case, helping the judge and jury understand the medical complexities involved.
The test applied by South African courts to evaluate expert evidence in medical negligence cases.
South African courts employ a test akin to that utilized in numerous other common law jurisdictions to gauge the significance of expert testimony in medical negligence cases.
This test, as articulated by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the case of Michael and Another v Linksfield Park Clinic (Pty) Ltd and Another 2001 (3) SA 1188 (SCA) at paragraph 34, emphasizes the role of the court in evaluating expert opinions. The court held:
“In the course of the evidence, counsel often inquired of the experts whether certain conduct was reasonable, unreasonable, or negligent. The presiding judge was not swayed by this into relinquishing his decision-making responsibility. Nor, we believe, did counsel intend for that to happen. However, it is worth reiterating that the determination of reasonableness and negligence is the purview of the court itself, based on the array of sometimes conflicting expert opinions presented. Typically, this determination does not hinge on matters of credibility but rather necessitates scrutinizing the opinions and their underlying reasoning to facilitate the court’s formation of its own conclusions on the raised issues.”
In this specific case, experts were not solicited, nor did they endeavor, to express a collective or representative perspective regarding what constituted reasonable conduct for a South African specialist anesthetist in 1994. The court expressed its frustration at the experts called, asserting that they did not offer a ‘collective or representative opinion’ on how a reasonable anesthetist would have responded under identical circumstances. Furthermore, it raised concerns that the primary function of the experts summoned was more akin to ‘teaching.’
The court pointed out the ‘absence of evidence’ pertaining to customary practices within the specific field and underscored that the assessment of such evidence should revolve around the extent to which the opinions put forth are grounded in logical reasoning. The court also referenced the House of Lords ruling in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority  AC 232, stating that the court is not obligated to absolve a defendant doctor of liability for negligent treatment or diagnosis solely on the basis of the concurrence of multiple medical experts. Instead, the court must ensure that such opinions have a ‘logical basis,’ implying that the expert considered the relative risks and benefits and reached a ‘defensible conclusion’ (at 241G-242B).
The court went on to emphasize that even in instances where the professional opinion asserts that overlooking an apparent risk is not negligent, the defendant can still be held accountable (at 242H). Furthermore, the court contended that courts must rely on expert opinions to assess medical risks and benefits and that the court would be incapable of making clinical judgments without the guidance of medical experts. “It is only when a judge is convinced that the body of expert opinion lacks any logical support that such opinion will not serve as the benchmark against which the defendant’s conduct is to be assessed” (at 243A – E).
This fundamental distinction between the scientific and judicial standards of proof was eloquently underscored by the House of Lords in the Scottish case of Dingley v The Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police 2000 SC (HL) 77, which issued a caution:
“One cannot completely dismiss the risk that by immersing oneself in the minutiae and attempting to comprehend the thought processes of the experts, a judge may be drawn into a situation where he employs the standards the expert would use to determine whether a particular thesis has been proved or disproved – instead of conducting an assessment, as a judge must, of where the preponderance of evidence lies after considering the entire body of evidence.”
The Western Cape High Court judgment in Kosana v MEC for Health (WCC) (unreported case no 9230/2005, 23-1-08) (Erasmus J) further expanded on this concept. The court invoked a passage from the Appellate Division judgment in Van Wyk v Lewis 1924 AD 438 at 444 and expounded in paragraph 36:
“When appraising the level of skill and diligence possessed and exercised by members of a specialized profession (the responsible group of medical practitioners skilled in the particular field), ‘the evidence of qualified surgeons or physicians is of the greatest assistance.'”
The court then drew from the judgment in Maynard v West Midlands Regional Health Authority  1 WLR 634 at 639:
“I must emphasize that a judge’s ‘preference’ for one body of distinguished professional opinion over another, also professionally distinguished, does not suffice to establish negligence in a practitioner whose actions have garnered approval from those whose opinions, honestly expressed and genuinely held, were not favored. In the realm of diagnosis and treatment, negligence can only be established if there has been a failure to exercise the ordinary skill of a doctor (within the relevant specialty if they are a specialist).”
The court also cited the Bolitho case, in which it was declared:
“The evaluation of medical risks and benefits is a matter of clinical judgment that a judge typically cannot undertake without expert evidence. As Lord Scarman’s quote makes clear, it would be erroneous to allow such an evaluation to degrade into an attempt to persuade the judge to favor one of two views, both of which can be logically supported. Only when a judge is convinced that the body of expert opinion lacks any logical support will such opinion not serve as the benchmark against which the defendant’s conduct is to be assessed.”
In Honisz v Lothian Health Board  CSOH 24, paragraph 39, the Scottish court, relying on the Bolitho case, elucidated:
“As a general rule, when there are two conflicting schools of thought within the relevant group of responsible medical practitioners regarding the appropriateness of a particular practice, it is not the role of the court to favor one school over the other (Maynard v West Midlands Regional Health Authority, Lord Scarman, p 639F-G). Nevertheless, the court does not unconditionally defer to the opinions of the relevant professionals to the extent that, if a defendant presents evidence that other responsible professionals within the relevant group of medical practitioners would have taken the same actions as the impugned medical practitioner, the judge must invariably conclude that there was no negligence. This is because, thirdly, in extraordinary cases, the court may conclude that a practice endorsed by responsible medical practitioners does not withstand rational scrutiny (Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, pp 241G-242F, 243A-E). When the judge is satisfied that the body of professional opinion on which a defendant relies is unreasonable or irresponsible, he may find the medical practitioner guilty of negligence, despite the endorsement of his conduct by that body of opinion.”
The evaluation of evidence based on expert-based knowledge is a catalyst for justice vis-a-vis the standard integrity, logic and comprehensive knowledge and experience in the area concerned. In the realm of medical negligence, legal practitioners rely on medical legal opinions to navigate the complex and intricate intersection of law and medicine. These opinions are invaluable for interpreting medical records, establishing the standard of care, assessing causation, and providing expert witness testimony. Whether the case goes to trial or is settled outside of court, a medical legal opinion is often the linchpin that determines the outcome. It ensures that justice is served by holding healthcare providers accountable for their actions and ensuring that patients receive fair compensation for their injuries.
Feel free to contact Dr Kim Lamont-Mbawuli at Kim@klmattorneys.co.za for your medical legal opinions
Deborah Bless, African storyteller and cook partners with Chat GPT 3 to launch “Love Envoy”
Deborah Bless, all known as Deborah Ogwuche, has made history today as one of the world’s first AI romance co-authors. The partnership between Deborah Bless and Chat GPT 3 to Co-author the book “Love Envoy” is among the first creative collaboration between an artificial intelligence and a human. The collaboration is unique because it explores boundless opportunities and how AI will shape innovation in the writing profession.
According to Deborah Bless, the incorporation of AI in the writing of “Love Envoy” was like having a mentor to keep her focused and build a captivating piece that surpasses readers’ standards. In addition, she mentioned that the lucidity provided by AI in word selection and developing excitement was extraordinary and beyond her expectations.
Titled “Love Envoy,” the book tells the story of an immigrant Nigerian single mother on a journey of self-discovery and budding romance with an unlikely character. This book is expected to be the first of many AI co-authored works that will take the literary world by storm.
“Love Envoy” is launched today, April 1st, 2023 and will be made available to the public through Deborah Bless’s website, as well as notable book platforms.
Deborah Bless expressed her excitement about the launch of “Love Envoy,” saying, “I am thrilled to have worked with OpenAI’s Chat GPT 3 on this groundbreaking project. I believe that this collaboration will inspire other writers to explore the possibilities that AI presents in co-authoring works of literature. I also cannot wait for readers to experience this captivating love story.”
For more information on “Love Envoy” and Deborah Bless’s works, visit her website and other leading book and social media platforms.