Bene is a biologist and the head of botany at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. In 1982, was a co-founder of the feminist organization, Women In Nigeria (WIN).
She is also the founder and chair of Girls' Power Initiative, Nigeria, which is an organization to promote self-esteem among young women and girls.
In 1995, she received an award from the MacArthur Foundation Fund for Leadership Development. She has served as a member of the National Task Force on Sexuality Education and is a member of the committee to institutionalize women's studies in tertiary institutions.