Advancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
The contributions of women in any society are worthy of note and immeasurable.
Apart from the fact that they are home makers and mothers, they also occupy relevant positions in the society.
This notwithstanding, the women folk have come a long way, in business, politics, education, sports and in their different chosen professions.
Therefore, for women to remain relevant and continue to contribute meaningfully to national development, they need to acquire the needed skills and knowledge as well as empowerment.
This involves the provision of enabling environment for their productive and intellectual abilities to be realized.
This will enable them engage in small scale enterprises, which is one of the ways of reducing the incidence of poverty and unemployment among women.
It is therefore imperative that awareness be created on the benefits that could be derived from women empowerment as well as assist women to realize their potential in order to contribute positively to national growth.
This underscores the celebration of international women day on the 8th of March annually.
This year’s theme “think equal, build smart, innovate for change” focuses on innovative ways by which gender equality and the empowerment of women can be advanced, especially in the area of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
Some women have proved their worth in their chosen careers and this is commendable.
The likes of Late Professor Dora Akunyili, Mrs. Folake Solanke and Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also left a huge landmark in the history of Nigerian politics.
Of note is the former Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who made history as Africa’s first female president. Similarly, we have the likes of Hilary Clinton in the United States who contested with united states president, Donald Trump.
The Federal Government should as a matter of priority promote gender balance and increase access to education by insisting on the enrollment of certain percentage of girl child in schools.
Nongovernmental organizations should intensify efforts and continually stand up against domestic violence and other abuses against women.
Women on their part should strive to break through development barriers with great determination, perseverance, unbreakable solidarity and genuine desire to excel.
To accelerate the achievement of the sustainable development goals, SDGs and gender equality, women and girls need to play more active roles in building more inclusive systems, efficient services and sustainable infrastructure.
This goes in tandem with the words of the former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon that “when we empower women, we empower communities, nations and the entire human family.