News Analysis

International Women Day: A Challenged World is an Alert World

Every 8th of March each year marks International Women’s Day.

This year marks the 110th International Women’s Day, after the first official event which was held in 1911 Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. 

It was technically first celebrated in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City as part of a protest over poor working conditions.

However, the United Nations made the day official in 1975, thus making it a global event.

 The day addresses issues such as human rights, gender inequalities, highlighting also the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and contributions made by women. 

The official theme for 2021 is “choose to challenge with the idea that a challenged world is an alert world”.

This shows that individually, women are all responsible for their own thoughts and actions which they can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.

Around the world, girls and women face unique challenges to participating in politics these challenges are personal, practical, economic, political and cultural.

Denying people the freedom to choose their path in life because of their gender will prevent them from fulfilling their full potential.

This limits women’s power by rendering them less able to help contribute to making the world around them a better place.

It is hardly surprising that many women struggle to embrace their unique feminine leadership strengths, thus leaving many incredibly accomplished and talented women struggling with imposter syndrome.

For Nigeria women to compete with international, there is need for them to speak out about their  experiences to call out gender discrimination.

For more women to top tables, will require valuing care-giving as highly as bread winning, embracing feminine leadership strengths, challenging themselves to own their value, daring to make the difference their difference makes.

They should challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and encourage women to forge an inclusive world.

United States Vice President, kamala Harris said last November:

“dream with ambition. Lead with conviction. And see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.”

Nigeria is blessed with great women that had contributed their quota to national development, more talented and intelligent women are still available if given chance.

Kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari for selecting and supporting  Dr Ngozi Okonjo-iweala during her bid for the World Trade Organization’s, WTO, Director General post.

Okonjoiweala’s ascent to the WTO topnotch job is a culmination of series of opportunities to serve in other leadership positions such as when she was finance minister under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Government at all levels in the country, public and private establishments need to create more enabling environment for women to thrive 

On their parts, women serving in various capacities in government, public and private establishments should see their positions as a call to duty and shun corrupt practices.

This will make them role models, and create room for other women to be entrusted with responsibilities in various capacities.

 Olukemi Akintunde

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