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Onyeka Onwenu, Olusoji George, Modupe Ladipo, others demand gender balance

By Ransome Mgbeahuru
25 March 2020   |   3:48 am
The atmosphere this Friday morning looked arty. From the environment to the speakers, everybody had one thing or the other to do with the arts

The atmosphere this Friday morning looked arty. From the environment to the speakers, everybody had one thing or the other to do with the arts, except that it was a celebration of women.

In commemoration of the 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD), AB Microfinance Bank hosted a conference, where speakers demanded gender balance.

With Each for Equal as a theme, the speakers included, AB Microfinance Bank Ambassador and musician Onyeka Onwenu; Independent Executive Directors of AB Micro-Finance Bank, Mrs. Modupe Ladipo; Associate Professor at UNILAG, Olusoji George; and the Branch Manager in AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria, Ms. Laura Madukamuo and others.

It was an interactive session, where the problems and challenges facing women were discussed.

While speaking on this year’s IWD theme, Onwenu, popularly known as the elegant stallion, noted: “In decision-making, where women are demanding for 40 per cent representation, this is necessary because men are the ones holding the majority of the positions, even at the ministerial level.”

The veteran musician said, “we are asking for regular interactive engagement with various agencies of government. Nigerian women need a step-by-step planning as we move on and for the new dispensation to really move us forward to the next level in line with the theme in Each for equal.”

Onwenu called on all women to dream big. “If you have a dream and it does not scare you, it is not big enough. Wake up. Be curious. It will help you. Perhaps not today but in the future.”

According to the human right activist, women are multidisciplinary. “They work in offices and homes. They are the organisers. Women are advisers, comforters, teachers, cooks, community workers and they achieve it all.”

She stated, “so, therefore, our demand is that if more women are given the chance, there would be ripple effect down to the economy, policy, environment and even the way of living.

“Take, for instance, if there are 40 ministers, there will be only five women, in such cases, and it will be very difficult for their voice to be heard. That is why we are pushing for an increased percentage for women. Already, Rwanda is doing 50-50 and the result is that things are happening here for the better — a country that was almost buried through genocide but has come up to be one of the leading countries in Africa.

“The target call for and to gender discrimination and for empowering women and girls through technology. We want to take an actionable step to make gender equality a reality. Women are taking the centre stage,” she said.

According to Ladipo, “this is the right time in Nigeria’s history to help find a better gender-balanced world,” adding that the theme, “Each for Equal”, “is very apt because in many countries, especially in Nigeria, there has not been balanced for women in many areas. This is an opportunity for women to engage government on how to have a more gender-balanced world in appointments, nominations and engagements at various levels of government.”

“We are looking at providing women and girls with equal access to education; health care, decent work and representation in pol and eco decision-making processes will nurture sustainable economies.”

To the lady, achieving gender equality will require enforcement legislation that promotes the empowerment of all women and girls requires secondary education of all rights.

The generation equality campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country, to drive actions that will create the gender-equal world we all deserve.