2021 IWD: NAWOJ Seeks End To Obstacles To Women Progress
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has called on all relevant authorities and stakeholders to put an end to all obstacles constituting a clog in the wheels of progress of women across the country.
The association made the call in a release by it national president, Ladi Bala and national secretary, Helen Udofa, to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration.
The Day is celebrated annually on March 8 of every year and the 2021 edition is themed: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in the COVID-19 World.”
The theme focuses on celebrating the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping an equal future for themselves.
It also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which emphasises “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life as well as the elimination of violence for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
in line with the theme, NAWOJ stressed that women deserve to be celebrated as they stand at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.
“Today, NAWOJ particularly celebrates all Nigerian women, who have made a mark in their various fields of endeavour, either as successful traders, top notch businesswomen, chief executives of different agencies, banks and other corporate organisations, or as deputy governors, state chief judges, secretary to state government, head of civil service, commissioners, permanent secretaries, professors, members of the state and national assemblies, and heads of media establishments, etc.
“We acknowledge that women’s achievements in various fields have served as inspiration to younger women, helping them to overcome seeming challenges they may face.
“NAWOJ notes that Nigerian women play invaluable roles in building homes, and by extension, the nation, and contribute significantly in the public and private sectors of national life.
“They have been noted for high-flying achievements and uncommon record breaking, while their passion for justice, equity and fairness with less tendencies for corruption and violence are un-equalled.
“What this translates into is that women are more trusted to deliver on their promises and to excel when given the opportunity to serve,” it stated.
NAWOJ observed that, exactly 27 years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality, as multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture.
“Consequently, women and girls continue to be undervalued as they work more and earn less, have fewer choices and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces, thus hindering their advancement and gender equality,” the releases stated.
NAWOJ therefore specifically called for concerted efforts to eliminate those persistent and pre-existing social barriers to gender equality, more women’s participation in leadership as well as an end to practices that are inimical to the advancement of women and girls in Nigeria.
It is also seeking an end to all forms of sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls, including new barriers that have emerged with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It noted that cross the world, women face an increase in domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.
“Therefore, NAWOJ advocates a better deal for women through the removal of all obstacles hindering women’s chances at qualitative education, political inclusion, healthcare, economic empowerment, rights to inheritance, etc.
“While we congratulate Nigerian women for bringing different perspectives and skills to the table as well as making irreplaceable contributions to nation-building, we call for equality in political leadership, more women inclusion in governance, corporate boardrooms and factory floors.
“Government at all levels and organisations should step up efforts at harnessing the strength in Nigeria’s greatest human capital resources (women), by including more women in policy and decision-making processes” the release added.
NAWOJ described as unacceptable and retrogressive the recent spate of abduction of students in schools by criminal elements.
It therefore ppealed to government at all levels to secure all schools by fencing it and deploying security personnel to safeguard the lives of students and pupils for hitch-free learning.