Women key to Africa’s future, says envoy
Lauds Nigeria-S’Africa trade ties
The future of Africa depends on women playing critical roles, a diplomat said in Lagos at the weekend.Consul-General of South Africa to Nigeria, Darkey Ephraim Africa, said this during his country’s 60th National Women’s Day. The theme of the event was “Women united in moving Africa forward.”
He stressed that women in Nigeria and South Africa have critical roles to play in the continent’s advancement. According to him, women constitute more than 50 per cent of the total population.
While describing the relationship between both nations as a mutually reinforcing one, Africa said the visit by President Jacob Zuma to Nigeria recently was an indication that the trade relationship between the two countries was growing.
“South Africa is going to have a trade mission in September in Nigeria and this is a demonstration that we are working hard to ensure that that the trade relation continues to grow,” he said.
The envoy, however, noted that the occasion was to mark the August 9, 1956 march of over 20,000 women to the Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa against patriarchy, racial oppression and colonial domination led by Lilian Ngoyi, Rita Nzanga, Raheema Musa, among others.
He challenged women to fight poverty, under-development and inequality, especially hunger and joblessness. The envoy, who stressed that no society could prosper unless its women were treated with dignity, added that his country was proud to have Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the first female head of the African Union (AU).
He urged African women to forge a common front as they have the resilience, power, passion, determination and willingness to move the continent forward but must fight against all forms of prejudices – religious, cultural, political – which deny leadership possibilities.
In her remarks, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluronke Idiat Adebule, lamented discrimination against women and rise in domestic violence, saying past efforts notwithstanding, there was need for a collective will to fully emancipate the gender in all societies. The representative of Lagos Central in the Senate, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, while corroborating the deputy governor, however, urged resistance to all anti-women practices.
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