INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021
As women all over the world gather today to celebrate international women’s Day, we focus on the United Nations theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 world”
The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and indeed, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on humanity generally. Apart from health, there was a myriad of social and economic downturn with a disproportionate impact on women. The pandemic exacerbated poverty and gender inequality; increased the vulnerability of women as many in the informal sector were out of jobs during the lockdown. The pandemic most unfortunately also increased women’s unpaid jobs as caregivers to sick and elderly members of their household.
Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights embraces the right of every person to take part in leadership in his or her country. As such, FIDA has always promoted the equal access of men and women to power, decision-making and leadership at all levels as being a necessary precondition for the proper functioning of any democracy, such as ours.
The above theme is also in consonance with the priority theme for the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women: “Women’s full and effective participation and decision – making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
These all being efforts towards achieving gender equality and women’s full participation in the public sphere. Women, as usual, rose to the occasion and carried disproportionate burdens during the pandemic as health workers at the frontline, caregivers to sick family members and breadwinners; we remember them and applaud their efforts.
We note and also appreciate that the pandemic elicited the skills and perspectives that women bring on board, for which leadership traits are worth celebrating as a way to encourage more women in leadership, to shape a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the pandemic and its challenges, women defied all odds and still championed and accomplished great things, rising to the pinnacles of their careers, in sports, beauty and fashion, media, entertainment, healthcare, education, as entrepreneurs, in government appointments and even the Judiciary. We appreciate you and join in blowing the trumpet for you all as great Nigerian women breaking boundaries.
FIDA NIGERIA sadly notes that Violence Against Women is still rising astronomically with cases of sexual violence of women and girls, and domestic violence topping the list. FIDA states that effective participation of women in decision– making; elimination of violence against women and girls; and the empowerment of women must be priorities for all if gender equality will be achieved.
Accordingly, FIDA Nigeria calls on government at all levels, agencies, policymakers, legislators and corporate organizations, to incorporate the diversity of women and girls in policy formulation, implementation of laws, and all response and recovery programmes of COVID-19 and post-pandemic.
FIDA Nigeria celebrates all women in leadership positions at the local, national and international levels and encourages them to be steadfast and resilient in dealing with the challenges they face. The campaign theme for this year is #Ichoosetochallenge, We, therefore, enjoin all women and men of goodwill to raise their hands high to show and choose to challenge inequality.
FIDA Nigeria continues to work to support credible, hardworking, meritorious women to break the glass ceiling in their respective spheres of operation.
Watch our media space for the celebration of some women who have exhibited dynamic leadership in Nigeria,
Happy IWD 2021.
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary