On Saturday 16th July 2016, Chief (Mrs) Gloria Laraba Shoda mni, emerged the National President of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS). The newly-elected National President previously served as the Council’s National Vice-President from 2012 -2016.
Mrs Shoda started her elementary education at St. Peter Demonstration School and continued at St. Faith College both in Kawo, Kaduna, where she obtained her First School Leaving Certificate and West Africa School Certificate respectively. Between 1975 and 1982, she enrolled and studied at the United Missionary College, Ibadan and Ogun State College of Education, bagging a Teacher Grade 11 Certificate and National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Applied Science and Technology. Her interest in having a professional degree in order to work as a teacher and instructor, pushed her into becoming a 1993 Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) – with emphasis on Adult Education and Community Development – from the University of Benin.
Her association with NCWS dates back to the 1980’s when she became a champion of women’s issues from the local government level. She has successfully translated this into becoming a rallying point for women at state and now national level.
On what drives her she says: “I strongly believe that we can make a difference for women’s empowerment in Nigeria. It is through the empowerment of women and girls that societies achieve their full potential”.
Over the years, Mrs. Shoda has demonstrated her commitment to the building of others and has imparted knowledge in schools across the country in places such as Lagos, Kaduna, Ikenne and Sagamu. Her years as a teacher were reinforced with a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Community Development from the University of Ibadan in 2005. Nigeria’s premier university was also where she earned a Doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Theological Seminary (The Post Graduate School) in July 2014.
Revered as a formidable community mobiliser of women around the country, she has sown socio-economic and political seeds in her immediate community and Nigeria at large. This is further demonstrated through her active membership of professional bodies such as National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture at National, State and Local Government levels.
In November 2014, Mrs Shoda participated in the Senior Executive Course 36, at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.
A champion of empowerment for women, she has used her personal professional development to practically demonstrate that through education, women can reach the top.
As the proprietress of a Group of schools in Sagamu, Ogun State, Mrs Shoda believes in the ‘Catch Them Young’ mantra. “We seek to lay a strong foundation in the young ones so they grow up understanding the value of hard work and the importance of education as a tool to becoming a responsible citizen”, she confessed.
Mrs. Shoda speaks the three main Nigerian languages fluently, and this has certainly contributed her to becoming a successful women’s rights activist, educationist and community development practitioner.