The National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) organized a Round table event to mark the International Women Day’s at ANEEJ Secretariat April 26, 2018. The year’s theme was Rural and Urban Activists transforming Women’s lives”.
Over 180 persons across the state attended. The participants were drawn from the government and private sector. Dignitaries that were present were the wife of the Executive Governor of Edo state, Mrs Betsy Obaseki represented by Pastor Mrs. Chatty Anahku, head of Admin office of the first lady; Rt Hon. Elizabeth Ative, Chairman of the event, the Egor local government Chairman, Mrs Eghe Ogbemudia, Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, Rev David Ugolor , Executive Director of ANEEJ represented by the Mr. Leo Atakpu. The epoch-making event had the Enogie of Ehor, and representatives of the chief judge,the ministry of health, Girls Guide movement, market women, CSOs, students and the Media.
The welcome address was presented by the coordinator of NCAA, Hon Florence Igbingie (JP) who is also the president of FONWIP. The keynote address delivered by Pastor Mrs. Chatty who represented the First lady of the state declared the event open and stated some of the commitments and achievement of the Mrs Betsy Obaseki towards providing opportunities for women especially in agriculture.
ISSUES RAISED AT THE EVENT
- The need to reach the rural women and unity of women
- Access to education/vocational training and revival of Adult education
- Mentoring of younger women
- Using Quota/zoning system to empower women for political position
- Establishment of political institute for women
- Speedy passage of the bill of gender equality in the floor of NASS
- Women marital protection rights
- Laws that infringe on women rights
- Promoting health care and youth friendly centers
- Women and girls to sign on “women to women platform currently trending.
Find below a speech by the Rev David Ugolor at the special event:
The Secretary-General of the UN’s Message for 2018, is “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”
The International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made in the wise. It is a time to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
This year’s theme, Rural and Urban Activist transforming women’s lives celebrated March 8 globally, though this celebration cannot be outlived. It is an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goals number 4 and 5- achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls and ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.
The International Women’s Day also draws attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43% of women in the global agricultural labor force.
It is pertinent to say that women till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, they ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20% of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas. It can be as high as 40%. Rural working women lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Therefore women’s empowerment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals means progress for all women, everywhere. This is should not be a favour to women. Gender equality is a human rights issue, but it is also in all our interests: men and boys, women and girls. Gender inequality and discrimination against women harms us all.
In this celebration of international women’s day, The National Coalition on Affirmative Action is focusing on the challenges of rural women and to increase the thrust of policy legislation and advocacy for policy makers.
At this crucial moment for women’s rights, it is time for men to stand with women, listen to them and learn from them. Transparency and accountability are essential if women are to reach their full potential and lift all of us, in our communities, societies and economies.
There is ample evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies, and even countries. Women’s participation makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economies more vigorous.
Today, ANEEJ commends the National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) for taking this bold step in championing the empowerment of women and girls especially women in the rural areas as many women activists and groups all over the world are doing now.
We call on government & Legislators to enact and implement laws that will enhance the right and empowerment of women especially rural women to live their full potentials. We as civil society organizations will continue to play active role in this regard until the world becomes a better place for all.
I thank you all for your kind attention.