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Nigerian Female Achiever, Hilda Adefarasin

Hilda Adefarasin is a Nigerian women's right activist and former president of the National Council of Women's Societies (NCWS). She left her nursing profession in 1969 to concentrate on professional activities of the NCWS. In 1971, she was the council's treasurer and in 1987, she became the president.


Adefarasin was born in Lagos to the family of Wilfred and Ethel Petgrave in 1925. Her father worked with the Nigerian Railway in Lagos both parents are of Caribbean descent. Adefarasin attended CMS Girls Secondary, School and Achimota College , Ghana. In 1945, she became pupil-midwife with Massey Street Hospital but in 1948, she traveled to England for further training where she qualified as a registered nurse in 1951. In 1960, she was a founding member and secretary of the Professional Association of Trained Nurses of Nigeria and soon joined the National Council of Women's Societies as a representative of nurses.

In 1971, she became the council's treasurer and was in the position until 1980. In 1984, Adefarasin succeeded Justice Nzeako as president of NCWS. Her selection continued a string of educated elite women president of NCWS. Adefarasin felt the forum was as association of varied women with diverse professional interests who create awareness for women's recognition in national life and nation building. The NCWS during her tenure promoted an Expanded Programme on Immunization and operational theatres for young girls with vesico vaginal fistula.

She was one out of two women who were nominated by president Ibrahim Babangida as members of the 1986 Political Bureau.

Personal life

She was married to Justice Tunji Adefarasin. She is the mother of Pastors Paul and Wale Adefarasin.

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