From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day, the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) has challenged the federal government to accelerate actions that would significantly close the gender gap and support more women in leadership positions.
CMA President Dr Osahon Enabulele, in a statement released in Abuja, stated that such action would strengthen women and amplify their voices to speak up against injustice and inhumane treatment against them, and also embolden them to aspire for political and community leadership positions.
‘There’s an urgent need for fast-tracking of actions to eliminate all discriminatory policies against women,’ he said, ‘enactment of pro-women legislation to criminalize all forms of violence against women, including rape and female genital mutilation; as well as the promotion of the reproductive health rights of women and effective vaccination against cervical cancer.’
Dr Enabulele celebrated the sense of diligence and professional commitment of medical women and all other female healthcare workers who continue to commendably manage the herculean task of their roles in child upbringing and family upkeep with their sacred duty of patient care.
He, notwithstanding, noted with dismay the regressive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihood of women, as well as efforts to close the gender gap.
‘It’s not in doubt that existing gender inequalities have made the world’s women more vulnerable to the socio-economic and health impact of the COVID-19 crisis, with women accounting for over 54 per cent of global job losses.
‘It’s in line with the foregoing that the CMA considers as apt the choice for this year’s International Women’s Day: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. We rejoice and felicitate with women all over the world, particularly women in the Commonwealth Nations,’ he stated.