By Emmanuel Iyoho
The International Women’s Day usually celebrated annually on March 8, is one of the most important days of the year to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charities. In a bid to address issues of gender inequality, women generally have been urged to embrace love, peace and unity as panacea to break the bias currently affecting the women folk in the country.
Founder and chief executive officer, Eno Mfon UwemFoundation, gave the advice while addressing members of EtinanFederal Constituency Forum (EFCF), Abuja Women’s Wing andother members of the forum during the celebration of this year International Women’s Day celebration in Abuja recently. EnoJames, who attributed gender inequality in Nigeria to inability of women to love themselves, said it is high time women embraced love, peace and unity among themselves.
She said her initiative, Eno Mfon Uwem Foundation which facilitated this year’s event for EFCF in Abuja, identified with women, most especially the less privileged to put smiles on their faces through various empowerment programmes.
Eno Mfon Uwem Foundation, she said is a social organisationwith a mission to ensure that the less privileged, dropped out children from schools, widows are being assisted via empowerment respectively.
According to her, “most of our women don’t like themselves. It is so unfortunate that a fellow woman will see another woman trying to move forward, but instead of encouraging her, the only thing she could do is to bring down the person through backbiting, gossiping and what have you in order to distract her from achieving her purpose.”
In her advice, the young CEO said, “Women should embrace peace, love one another and break the bias because it is as a result of our attitude that makes men look down on us, which is actually not so.” She said, “What men can do, in fact we the women can do better. If they can give women the opportunity to lead this country. Sincerely speaking, we the women can do better.
James advocated for the establishment of more women groups especially on women activism to encourage women to tackle some of the burning issues affecting the women folk in the country such as Gender Based Violence, Violence Against Women and Girls, Vesico-Vaginal Fistula etc.
She added that by so doing the bias that limits the women from participating fully in the process of governance in the country as well as other issues would be broken .
Also speaking, women leader and evangelist, Josephine Odungideh, in her paper entitled, A Treasurable Woman Breaks The Bias,’ said to break the bias, every woman must see herself as a home maker, a woman that is peaceful, caring, a loving woman that fears God as well as a woman that can support her husband, children and family. According to her, women need to be awakenphysically and spiritually. So, to be able to break the bias, stagnation and limitations that appear as obstacle preventing women from expressing their God-given opportunity on earth, there is need to imbibe these virtues.
“The woman of God advised women to always be on their feet, hardworking hard and believe that what men can do, women can as well do it much better.”Odungideh added.
On her part, Deaconess Ekaette Paul Ekong during her presentation spoke on the genesis of the International Women’sDay celebration and urged women to be sensitive, saying women should endeavour to stand against any form of marginalisationand discrimination.
According to her, women should be celebrated anywhere for who they are. Ekaette Ekong said women needed to be trained acquire different skills and get educated. So that they can be qualified and applied for any office of their choice.
In his remarks, Elder Aniefon Akpabio who is also the chairman board, of Trustees, EFCF, Abuja while congratulating the women on their international day celebration appreciated the Nigerian women, saying men cannot do without the women as they are wonderfully made for companionship.
In his paper titled, The Power of Language the BOT chairman charged women to teach their children how to speck vernacular, their mothers tongue, stressing that the importance of language to children can not be over emphasised, even as it will help the children to keep secrets.
On the role of the men in discouraging gender inequality, Akpabio said, “Fathers have a role to play, let the women know that they can attain any height in life. It is the duty of the man in the house to teach the children most especially the girl child that they are not disadvantaged, that they can do any thing they wish to do.”
He noted, “By doing so any child can take it up from there and can as well reach any extent he or she desires in life.” Akpabioadded.
The International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.
The campaign theme for the International Women’s Day 2022 is #Break The Bias. Whether it is deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead in their careers and even personal lives. Only knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. Rather, action is needed to level the playing field.