Monday, March 7, 2016 5:26 pm
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
As the world marks the International Women’s Day, IWD, the Lagos State Government has challenged women to fight for parity with men in political, socio-economic and cultural spheres of life.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Lola Akande, who spoke at a news conference to mark the IWD which comes up on Tuesday in Lagos, said the empowerment of women and their full participation on the basis of equality in all ramifications, including participation in the decision-making process and having access to power were key requirements to the attainment of equality, development and peace.
At the briefing held at the State Secretariat, Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Monday, she said while the status of women had improved overtime, there was need for women to strive to arrive at equality with men in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, which is “Pledge for Parity.”
“We are celebrating tomorrow our socio-economic, socio-political and cultural achievements that we have attained so far which is in tune with the aims of IWD celebration being a day for the celebration of excellence, especially for women achievers; a day for reflection of progress made, a day for advocacy and action, a day to celebrate act of courage and day to encourage women to keep on advocating until the planet 50:50 agenda is attained.
“This year’s theme, “Pledge for Parity” is a call to action for accelerating gender parity because the World Economic Forum predicted in 2015 that the gender gap would not close entirely until 2133, for instance, about 117 years,” she stated.
The commissioner asked women if they wanted to wait for that long to achieve parity with men or they wanted it to happen in the lifespan of this generation, charging them to take concrete steps towards achieving gender parity more quickly by taking the needed action.
According to her, as women celebrate the IWD, what should be in their mind was to fight for gender balanced leadership, develop more inclusive and flexible culture, nurture up their children equally, increasing the number of women in the legislature, executive and other spheres of life as well as strive to stop discrimination at work place and contribute to positive gender legislation.
Akande said her ministry had been at the forefront in canvassing women’s rights and mitigating the impact of domestic violence on the female folk and the girl child in the state.