As the Lagos State Government joined the rest of the world to mark the year 2017 International Women’s day celebration, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule has called on women from all walks of life to unite together and speak with one voice that all forms of discrimination, domestic violence and gender inequality against women be stopped with immediate effect.
Adebule noted that the annual International Women’s Day celebration by the United Nations is in recognition of the important roles that women play in the political, social and economic development of the society, adding that in spite of all the barriers being faced in the society, women over the years have broken the walls of limitation to be highly successful in their chosen careers.
Adebule who described the theme for the year 2017 International Women’s Day Celebration, “BE BOLD FOR CHANGE” as relevant and instructive, stated that it is a clarion call for women to unite, come together and take bold and pragmatic steps to accelerate gender parity and fight all forms of discriminations that have hindered women development.
“We all must work in synergy to ensure all girls have access to free, equitable and quality education. Our unity of purpose must be to help all women to end all forms of discrimination, assault, abuse, trafficking, and harmful practices such as early and forced marriages”, Adebule advised.
The Deputy Governor who noted that, though, there had been some significant efforts by government in many countries to remove all barriers being faced by women and the girl-child to guarantee their full right and freedom, there is still need for women to rise against other forms of discrimination and abuse against them that still persist in some other regions.
While commending the Lagos State government for implementing programmes and policies geared towards repositioning women to meet new challenges for their development, Adebule disclosed that the State government has been focused and proactive in the formulation of policies that ensure fairness, equality and full protection of women and girl-child rights in the State.
“In the Lagos State public service for instance, all persons irrespective of gender are treated equally in the areas of recruitment, promotion and career progression, while it is worth noting that the last four successive Heads of Service in the State have been women”, adding that women have been occupying the position of Chief Justice of the State in the last eight years.
In addition, Adebule stated that Lagos State government has taken a bold step to be the first to inaugurate the Domestic and Sexual Violent Response Team (DSVRT), the Agency saddled with the responsibility of protecting women and the girl-child from violence and abuse by reporting and prosecuting any offender of the act.
In her goodwill message, the Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said the International Women’s Day celebration is highly significant towards acknowledging the achievements of women and appreciate the contributions they have made to the socio-economic development in the society.
While acknowledging and appreciating the role of women in politics, economy, academia and manufacturing, she urged women to come out of their shell, take bold steps and refuse to be limited in their vision to achieve their hearts’ desire.
“Change is the only permanent thing in life; it signifies progress and overcoming the barriers to achieving greatness. We, must, therefore, embrace change with boldness and by so doing open a new door of opportunities for ourselves”, she said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Lola Akande, enjoined women to see themselves as potential leaders and be committed to pragmatic actions which would foster women emancipation and advancement.
She stated that this year’s International Women Day celebration is noteworthy as it coincides with the Lagos State 50th Anniversary Celebrations and therefore called on women to reflect on how they can collectively and individually be ready for a change that will totally free them from intimidation, oppression and discrimination as manifested in the theme of the celebration “Be bold for change”, urging them to have a mindset that says no to domestic violence, gender discrimination and its attendant repercussions.
The Commissioner further used the occasion to urge mothers to develop themselves in order to have constructive engagement with their children.