From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
In commemoration of the annual International Women’s Day (IWD), the Aspire Women Forum, brought together, women from all walks of life to chart a way forward for Nigerian women.
The President and Founder, Aspire Women Forum, Barrister Zainab Marwa-Abubakar, while speaking during the event, encouraged women to be part of the decision-making organs in the country.
Marwa-Abubakar also said the primary way for women in the country to move forward was through enlightenment and to attend symposium such as the event organised by Aspire Women Forum to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
“Politics is not cut and dry, it is not something that you just fall into. You must educate yourself, especially for the fact that all politics are local,” Marwa-Abubakar advised the women.
Marwa-Abubakar further said as 2023 drew near, she was viewing everything with gender-colored lenses and believed strongly that women would bear their name, played their part and dared to challenge the status quo which was what the United Nations directed.
“We have to be the change, we have to dare to challenge, we have to choose to challenge.
“So, as 2023 draws near, I believe that women are going to take their rightful place as leaders and policy makers and decision makers in this power play,” Marwa-Abubakar stated.
Marwa-Abubakar also spoke about the girl-child education in Nigeria, particularly the abduction of school children in the northern part of the country.
She stated that the development was a threat to the battle to make sure that the situation of school drop out was not the same.
“Absolutely, it is a threat to girl-child education, the kidnapping state that we are in. But I am also confident in His Excellency, the president of the federation. He has just appointed new service chiefs and I do believe that things are going to change for the better.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is somebody that has shown us that our security is of utmost importance and we are all standing firmly behind him in the hope that Nigeria will be once again secure for our girls to go to school,” Marwa-Abubakar further said.
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Aspire Young Women Forum, Gift Johnbull, said she believed that nation building was a collective effort, adding that young people, particularly women, were actually key ingredients in nation building.
“Women should believe in themselves and know that they are important ingredients in nation building, building the homes and advise themselves to get involved in politics.
“As much as they build the home, they can also build the nation because nation building involves women. So, get involved in politics,” Johnbull said.
On her part, the Coordinator, ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association, Blessing Ehiwarior Samuel Atere, said timid women never made history, but that the future belonged to the bold.
“My advice to them is simple: timid women never make history, but the future belongs the bold,” Atere said.
In her remarks, media personality, Adaora Onyechere, said the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should serves as an inspiration to other women, particularly in Nigeria.
“Look at Ngozi Okonkwo-Iweala who is just heading the World Trade Organisation. She didn’t just start from the WTO. Look at Oby Ezekwesili, the list is endless. Begin from where you are, make impact, be of service and let your voice be heard,” Onyechere said.