International Women Day – Gender Parity in Nigeria
1001+ Voices Initiative for People Empowerment, a non-governmental organisation, has urged leaders in Nigeria and Africa to accelerate the attainment of gender parity in the country and continent by creating a robust environment that not only advance women in the workplace at present but also redefines opportunities for future generations of women.
The coordinator of the group, Mr Ide Owodiong-Idemeko made the call while speaking at an event organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) Widows’ Support Centre to mark the 112th edition of the United Nations International Women’s Day in Lagos.
Speaking further, Mr Owodiong-Idemeko noted that this year’s theme which was- Press for progress- was a strong call to press forward in making progress for gender parity. He went on to state that this was coming on the heels of an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality, safety and justice, as women across the world are mobilizing, with marches and campaigns on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women’s political representation.
“Societies must learn how to harness and put into good use the advantages and benefits (in terms of skills, potentials and talents) that its population possesses so that everyone is collectively involved in the advancement of the society”.
Similarly, the founder of the CVL and leading Political Economist, Professor Pat Utomi, while delivering an address at the event called for gender parity stressing that transparency and accountability were also essential if women are to reach their full potential in the society.
He stated that any society that does not get up to 60% of its population advantage is a failed society. In his words, he said, “Societies must learn how to harness and put into good use the advantages and benefits (in terms of skills, potentials and talents) that its population possesses so that everyone is collectively involved in the advancement of the society”.
Going further, Prof. Utomi remarked that his decision to have a widow support centre was borne out of concern and empathy for widows following an experience he witnessed in 1983 of a woman who was going to lose her family inheritance at the death of her husband due to conflict in family relations. As a result, he founded the Widow’s Support Centre in order to bring help and support to the widows.
The CVL Widow Support Centre, he said, provides support for widows and their children through advocacy, training and social welfare.