Women encouraged to take up global positions
Consul General of South Africa to Nigeria, Darkey Africa has said that Africa would not grow to maximise its full potential if it fails to involve women.
He told African leaders, that in pursuing the objectives and aspirations of Agenda 2063, they should ensure that women are not a footnote of what will happen in the future because they should be allowed to contribute adequately to the society.
He said this as South Africa consulate General in Lagos, commemorated the country’s yearly Women’s Day Celebration in Lagos. It was themed, ‘Women’s Socio-economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women Resilence.’
South Africa marks its Women’s Day in August to pay tribute to the over 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on Aug. 9, 1956 to protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women.
Africa noted that there are certain prejudice and stereotypes that limit the ability of the African continent to achieve its purpose.
“Over 50 per cent of the continent, which are women are denied the opportunities that they should have.
“If we have half of our population, which are the women, not allowed to help us solve our problems, we would not grow. Africa has got everything it takes to become great. If we can leave out certain traditions, religious biases used to suppress women, we are going to go far,” he said.
Women were urged to take up global positions especially in politics. They were also encouraged to support other women striving to make impacts in their various fields.
Policies that encourage and enhance women’s participation in all parts of government were also buttressed.
Speaking from the diplomatic angle, Consul General of the Cameroonian Consulate in Nigeria, Manga Bessem, said there are no limits in diplomacy.
“When you are a woman, you have an advantage, because collectively, when women are on the table, the discussion is different. I am out there to encourage more women into politics. As women, we should support other women trying to make impacts,” she said.
Bessem called for deeper collaboration among women.
Founder, Black Roots Media, Lusanda Chauke, noted that from a media perspective, women are winning the fight by producing things that tell their stories.
“Women are taking the lead and in the forefront of media. The forefront conversations are always that we have to tell the stories. We shouldn’t be afraid to tell our stories,” she added.
She explained that as females, their role is to create sisterhoods where support and encouragement is the norm.
Senior Lecturer, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Lagos, Mary Akinyemi, said its time for a change of narrative, which should start with the girl child.
She called for more policies that encourage and enhance womens participation in all parts of government.
She stressed that women need to be family builders and show the girl child that they can balance family and career.
“We can’t separate the fact that we need women to be family builders. We need to tell our girls that they can balance family and career. We have nine female Vice Chancellors with at least 202 universities in Nigeria. We still have a long way to go,” Akinyemi said.
Director General (DG), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Almona, said that the current challenge is that the girl child is not sufficiently equipped to become the women we want them to be.
“As women, we should bring up a boy child to be aware of the fact that women are the same as them. We should do more to raise the boy child.
She noted that there are traditional barriers that needs to be named and dealt with.
Almona urged women to get mentorship and be open to learn from others.
“Look around your environment and find out who is doing what you want to do. Learn from others because this is a great way to move ahead,” she said.
Managing director/ CEO of NMO Management Limited, Ngozi Omambala, called on women to get involved in politics because that’s where policies are made and where they can make their voices heard.