IWD: Army chief’s wife calls for more women inclusion in decision making

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The President, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs Maria Lagbaja, has called for more inclusion of women in different facets of the society by creating equal opportunities for women.

Lagbaja made the call at the NAOWA Awareness Walk and Symposium in commemoration of the 2024 International Women’s Day with the theme, “Inspire Inclusion”, on Friday in Abuja.

She said the theme of the day was a call to action, which highlighted the need to bridge a gap in creating more inclusiveness and empowerment for women.

Lagbaja said the NAOWA Walk/Symposium themed “Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress”, aligned perfectly with the association’s commitment to promote equal opportunities for women.

“As we all know, gender discrimination still exists and this effects women access to education, healthcare, economic leadership opportunities, among others.

“This lack of inclusion is a major challenge as it prevents many women from reaching their potential goals.

“This programme therefore being organised as part of NAOWA’s corporate social responsibility to raise awareness and support various initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and women empowerment for major inclusive to the society,” she said.

NAOWA president said the IWD was set aside to celebrate the social economy, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide as well as to raise awareness about the issues of gender equality.

According to her, it also serves as a platform to raise awareness about affecting women globally and some of the issues including gender based violence, discrimination, child marriage among others.

The President, Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Oghogho Musa, said “the International Women’s Day holds immense significance in recognising the remarkable achievement of women throughout history.”

Musa said the day was to also reaffirm commitment towards recognising the need for the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women.

She said the theme for the year targeted at encouraging everyone to recognise the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life towards forging a better world.

She recalled the countless women who had paved the way for progress, breaking barriers and challenging societal norms to create a more inclusive and rightful world for all.

“Accordingly, the world has celebrated women trail blazers from field of science, politics, business and the art to unsung heroes who silently advocate for justice and equality in their communities.

“Also, women and have been at the forefront of positive change, driving innovation and inspiring better living condition in our society for a generation to come.

“As we celebrate our achievement and that of our contemporaries across the world, we must also admit that the journey towards gender equality is far from over.

“Women continue to face systematic barriers and discrimination, limiting their access to education, healthcare, economic opportunities and leadership responsibilities.

“Let us therefore resolve to build a world where every woman and girl child can realise her full potential and contribute her talent to society,” she said.

In his good will message, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said the Nigerian Army prides itself on being gender inspired organisation that its female personnel could aspire to be whatever they want.

Lagbaja said it had continued to support reputable women’s organisations to raise awareness on issues such as gender based violence, unequal access to education, economic opportunities that concern women.

He commended the spouses of the military officers for their resilience in keeping the home front, while their husbands were on deployment to secure the nation.

He pledged that army under his leadership would continue to work towards the society where rights of women would be respected and protected.

One of the resource persons, Mrs Eyotoyosi Shonibare, an Assistant Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), expressed concern over the lack of women representation in making some key decisions that affect them.

Shonibare said that several offices spaces had no provision for nursing mothers, saying that to inspire inclusion was a call to action by women themselves and the society at large.

“By actively fostering Inclusivity, we can empower women, unlock their potentials and build a brighter future for everyone.

“A recommitment in creating a world where all women are empowered, valued and included.

“By working together to break down barriers, we can build a more equitable and inclusive society for generations to come,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women undertook a health walk as part of the activities. (NAN)

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