By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The Wife of the Kwara State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Olufolake AbdulRazaq on Monday called on women to brace up and continue to ask for their rights and fair treatment amid the challenge of gender inequality in the World.
She gave the charge at the Stella Obasanjo Multipurpose Hall, Ilorin where she delivered her keynote address to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
She said the event should be seen as an opportunity for women to raise their voices and advance their journey for a greater heights.
Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Princess Adebukola Babalola, Mrs. AbdulRazaq said though a number of women are now shining stars as they have excelled in various leadership positions, stressing that their size is relatively low.
She acknowledged the roles of the present administration in giving women needed support to fulfil their dreams, most especially its aversion for gender-based violence.
“As we mark the International Women’s Day today, let us stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us to create a world where women are equal partners with men in all aspects of economic, political and social life.
“Undoubtedly, the present administration is very gender friendly and an advocate of gender equality. I must commend the efforts of the state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for signing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP Act) into law and for supporting women activities in the state,” she said.
“It is important to reiterate that my Pet project, Ajike People Support Centre has been playing its part to ensure comfortability of women not only in Kwara but Nigeria as a whole. Last year alone, I distributed foodstuff, blankets and cash to various women associations within the state.”
The State Head of Service, Mrs. Susan Modupe Oluwole noted that it is unfortunate that women have to undertake multi-functions in society and yet suffer recognition and commensurate placement eventually.
She, however, encouraged them to stick to their roles as home managers and nation builders, failing which she said has a negative effect on socio-moral lives of the citizenry.
The Deputy Rector (Administration), Kwara State Polytechnic, Dr. (Mrs) Habeebah Adam who spoke on the theme – ” Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” said there is the need for collaboration and communication among key stakeholders to be able to attain a desired future for the folk in the face of the pandemic.
She expressed worry that women are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, as frontline health workers, scientists, doctors and caregivers, yet they are paid 11 per cent less globally than their male counterparts.
“Gender inequality which has significantly hampered women’s ability to contribute in a large scale to the dialogue about the future of our world, must be nipped into the bud. We must not rest on our oars until there is equality in both private and public spheres,” she added.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Women Affairs, Hajia Afusat Nike Ibrahim said the idea of limiting the roles of women to homes is barbaric and has to be changed, advocating that the folk deserve to be respected and fairly treated like their male counterparts.
Hajia Afusat said the present administration has done a lot on Women’s inclusion and upliftment including taking care of the needs of vulnerable children. She thanked Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, his wife, Dr. Mrs. Olufolake and various non-governmental organizations for their commitments to this course.
“The day marks a call for action on women and gender equality, as well as to celebrate their achievements both nationally and globally. For many years, the role of women is limited to household chores only.
“This needs to be changed. I wish to express our profound gratitude to our dynamic governor, the He-For-She Champion, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his massive support for all our programmes,” she said.
The occasion was graced by the various dignitaries including the wife of the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Mrs. Sa’adat Yakubu Danladi; the Clerk of the House, Hajia Halimat Kperogi; Executive Director, Ajike People’s Support, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Opeloyeru; Director, International Women Communication Centre (IWCC), Dr Nimota Giwa Goroso;
Director National Orientation Agency (NOA), Kwara State, Mr Segun Adeyemi; members of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Kwara State branch; and a host of NGOs.