Rivers NAWOJ Calls For Gender Equality As World Marks Women’s Day
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Council, has called for gender equality between men and women in the society.
The association, in a statement issued to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, said it was unacceptable for any society in modern times to discriminate against women or relegate the female folk to the background either at homes, offices or in leadership positions.
The statement which was signed by the NAWOJ Chairman and Secretary, Mrs Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Doris Morrison respectively, described the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day which is “Choose to Challenge”, as apt and urged women in Nigeria and all over the world to challenge the negative narratives that have continued to be a hurdle in the achievement of women emancipation in the society.
“In line with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, we want to encourage women to challenge the erroneous notion that some jobs can be better done by men. We insist that in this modern day when women have distinguished themselves in all fields of human endeavor, no job should be the exclusive preserve of men”, NAWOJ stated.
The Rivers State NAWOJ said this year’s celebration of Women’s Day provides yet another opportunity for women to make a deliberate choice to challenge every hurdle that hinders their growth and development or obstacles that prevent them from achieving their heart’s desires.
“We are not encouraging women to challenge the headship or authority of their husbands at home, but we urge women to challenge the obvious disparity that has made their men counterparts look down upon them as inferior or weak.
“Women should choose to challenge the barbaric act of female circumcision that is still prevalent in some societies.
“Women should choose to challenge the erroneous belief by some tribes that the girl-child ought to be married out at a tender age.
“Women should choose to challenge the barbaric act of shaving a widow’s head and even the act of subjecting her to drink the water that was used to bath her deceased husband in order to prove her innocence”, NAWOJ stated.
Meanwhile, the women journalists have used the occasion of this year’s Women’s Day celebration to congratulate Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her election and resumption of office as the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and urged other women to emulate her sterling and enviable records.
The Rivers State NAWOJ, however, noted that the recent downgrading headline of a Swiss bank on Ngozi Okonji Iweala’s profile as: ‘A Grandmother Takes Over WTO’ goes a long way to describe what women suffer in a male dominated world.
According to NAWOJ, it is sad that of all the top notch and enviable achievements and accomplishments of Dr (Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in life, all the Swiss bank could highlight is Okonjo-Iweala’s grandmotherhood. Of course, Dr Okonjo-Iweala should be proud to be a grandmother and an achiever of high repute.
NAWOJ also condemned all forms of attacks against women including domestic violence, rape, kidnapping and even hired assassination, describing them as inhuman, callous and shameless.
While thanking the Rivers State Police Command for its prompt responses in rescuing a female journalist with the NTA, Chidiebere Onyia, who was kidnapped few weeks ago, NAWOJ called on the security agencies to always protect female journalists from further attacks, harassment and molestation.
NAWOJ, Rivers State
Doris Tams Morrison
NAWOJ, Rivers State