IWD: Helpline makes case for gender balance
As the world celebrates the International Women's Day, IWD, an Abuja based non-governmental organization, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has called on women to be economically viable aimed at forging a more gender-balanced world.
The group said the day will be used to examine women's achievements and challenges with a view to creating gender parity.
Addressing a world press conference in Abuja to mark the occasion, president of the foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, called for collective efforts and shared ownership for driving gender equality
"As we speak, every March 8 is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there's still more to be achieved. The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single person or gender nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," Ahmadu stressed.
Speaking on this year’s theme; "Balance for Better", she said it was a call to action for driving gender balance across the world, while calling on women not to see themselves as weaker vessels.
While fielding questions from journalists on the achievements recorded by women, Ahmadu noted that much has been achieved globally and locally, adding that the world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in women's equality and emancipation.
According to her, "today, we have more women in the boardroom, greater increase in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as role models in every aspect of life, is a demonstration of the fact that women have gained impressive equality.
"In today's world, we do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls gaining admission into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And more significantly, each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements.
"However, the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men".
Ahmadu therefore called on government at all levels and corporate organisations to do their bid to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding by initiating policies and programmes that will truly make a positive difference for women.
The event was marked by a ‘Balanced for Better’ march and featured different speakers.