The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called on the Nigerian government to address the challenges that hold women back and limit their potentials.
The Director of the centre, Idayat Hassan, said gender equality can be achieved by deepening women’s participation in politics, economy, education, health and other critical sectors in society.
This was contained in a statement issued by the centre in celebration of the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD).
International Women’s Day is commemorated on March 8 every year. The 2021 celebration has the theme: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
CDD said it would strengthen its interventions to promote and protect the rights of women and girls.
“We must Choose to Challenge barriers in governance, political and economic systems, which prevent women from achieving their true potentials.”
Women in Leadership
Ms Hassan said women have remained resilient as they continue to play pivotal roles in societies despite the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods.
CDD said it also celebrates great women achievers who shattered glass ceilings and made history.
“Worthy of note is the beautiful story of Kamala Harris, who defied the odds last November to emerge as the first female Vice President of the United States.
“Another instructive story would be found in the emergence of our own Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the statement read.
The centre said it is convinced that these amazing stories point to the possibilities of an inclusive future anchored on gender parity and women’s participation in decision-making in the local, national and international arena.
“Despite the myriads of challenges ranging from entrenched patriarchal systems, marginalization in decision making, the pandemic of rape and gender violence, women can still defy the odds to shine alongside the other gender.”
It added that beyond the inspiring stories of a few women who overcome many challenges to get to the peak, societies would derive more benefits from opening up political and economic spaces for women to play their roles in the quest for a better world.
In various sectors such as education, health, business and technological innovation, women have continued to demonstrate their capacities, CDD said
“In terms of leadership, evidence abounds that even in the context of COVID-19, countries led by women were able to put forward strategies to limit the pandemic’s devastating impacts.”
The CDD director said these achievements have motivated the centre to reflect on the theme of this year’s celebration.
“We have, therefore, deemed it important to focus on encouraging women and girls around the globe to collectively organize to bring about the change they want to see.
“The CDD would use this year’s commemoration of the IWD to encourage women and girls in Nigeria and West Africa to #ChooseToChallenge and make a positive impact in every aspect of their lives and that of others.”
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