TUC, others advocate more women representation in government, boards of agencies
Trade Union Congress (TUC), NECA Networking of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW), Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and International Chamber of Commerce of Nigeria (ICCN) said there is need to encourage women to rise up to leadership challenges among other critical roles where women have not been adequately represented.
Speaking on this year’s International Women’s Day, theme: “Be Bold for Change”, ASSIBIFI’s National President, Mrs Olasanoye Oyinkan, said this year focus is a wakeup call to all women to identify their strengths and abilities, notwithstanding the restrictions placed by culture and the society. It is certainly wrong to conclude that women are a bunch of people incapable of doing most reasonable things.
She said: “A saying that ‘when you empower a man you empower an individual, but when you empower a woman you have empowered generations’ is irrefutable.”
The TUC President,Bobboi Kaigama, urged women to position themselves for top positions and be ready to fight against all manner of malfeasance, and be ready to stop agonizing and start organising.
“Let it not amuse you because I said soon we shall have a female president in Nigeria. All that is required to achieve that is for you to put all your acts together, come up with ideas, critic them and move from there.
“Hilary Clinton, wife of former American president just contested an election in U.S. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor might be going for another term in office. There was a Joyce Hilda Banda as president in Malawi. Brazil’s first female President Dilma Rousseff also made her impact. You have many things to your advantage. Democracy is about number and you probably have it.
“We have great women in and outside the country that have made their marks in history. The women I see here can make it happen if only they will be bold. You have a chairperson, a leader at union level; I can see another president of a republic,” he said.
He stressed that gender equality is not just a human rights issue, but essentially for sustainable development, peace and prosperous world.”I urge you to be bold and give this cause all that is required to achieve the change you gravely desire. Our amazon, Comrade Oyinkan is more than a man; she is ‘we men’.
On her part, NNEW President Mrs Modupe Oyekunle said: “In the past, different terms have been used to describe a woman, from feminism to ‘Motherism’ and womanist. Today, we make a bold to say a woman is far more than those.
“It is perhaps a notable fact that a woman is the only unique creature that is able to compartmentalize and manage compartmentalizes situations without fear of contradiction”.
She urged women and girls to be ready to take bold steps and come out of their comfort zone and be ready to represent women well in top positions.
The Chairman ICC Nigeria and Regional Coordinator, sub Saharan Africa, Babatunde Savage, pledged his support to strengthen the voice of business women in propagating sustainability and world peace as part of its effort to bridge the gap in gender equality.
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