168 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | March 8, 2021
Awka – Government and the society need to support women to overcome the limitations that have kept them suppressed and unable to achieve their destinies in life.
This is the view of a cross-section of women who spoke with TNC correspondent in Anambra on the International Women’s Day celebration.
International Women’s Day, is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
The theme for the year’s celebration, is “Let’s all choose to challenge”.
Speaking on the essence of the celebration, the Deputy Chief Whip of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche, said right to access to quality education is the first point of empowerment for the girl child and must be provided by the government and parents.
She bemoaned the prevalent practice in Igbo land where preference are given to the male gender in terms of education, saying that equal access to both gender is imperative to enable develop at a par.
“It is a wrong and obsolete practice for parents to deprive the girl child access to education and avail same to the male offspring. Sometimes, you find the parents giving the girl child out early to marriage without equipping them with the necessary empowerment for a successful life in their husbands’ houses. While it is good for a girl to marry, care must be taken to ensure that the girl is ripe for marriage before being allowed to embark on such life time journey,” Hon Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche said
A Women’s Right Activist, Eucharia Onyemaobi noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more imperative for women to explore their potentials to better support the family, adding that the place of women in societal growth is very important.
“Women are very powerful people. In the homes, in the society and in other circles, they have proved to be very indispensable. Recently, we saw the whole world elect, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of World Trade Organization. That’s the power of a woman. During the first phase of the COVID pandemic, many families whose women were dormant suffered seriously and it became imperative for most men to allow their wives step out to pursue their dreams. The theme of this year’s celebration is a call on everyone involved in this struggle for women emancipation, to challenge what have always been that made women look subjugated and subservient. The reality on ground is that when the women are empowered, every aspect of the society will be better for it,” she opined.
For a female shuttle driver, Stella Onyilogwu, women must begin to understand that what they see as limitations to their progress, can actually be surmounted.
She believes there is no limit to what a determined woman can achieve in life.
“When I lost my mother who was the breadwinner of my family, it dawned on me that I needed to start thinking independently as a woman. When I found a means of survival with the shuttle driving business, many people saw me as a deviant and said all manner of things. Today, I can say that I have broken even and many of them are applauding me for taking the decision I took years ago. This is the story of many women today. But many have decided to allow themselves to be shackled by the statusquo. That must change for us as women,” she posited.