By CrossRiverWatch Admin
At the current level of advocacy in the world, achieving gender parity is 200 years away statistics from the 2017 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report have showed.
This means that with the current level of gender equality advocacy, it will take about 200 years to fully have the same percentage of women and men competing amongst themselves to occupy workspaces in leadership, entrepreneurship, business, career and politics.
This is not good news for women, of course. This simply means that the level of advocacy and gender sensitivity should be tripled if not quadrupled.
But, around the world, women still struggle for economic, political, social, and reproductive rights.
There are also subjected to reasonable number of human rights abuses which range from sexual abuse to genital mutilation.
However, the call to #PressForProgress has dominated the 2018 International Women Day as the trend and theme does not only affect the political space; it is a call for women to press towards being globally relevant and recognized in all walks of life.
In the Nigerian political space for instance, there is an existing 35% affirmative action for women in the Gender and Equal Opportunity bill passed by the National Assembly.
In the last general elections, Cross River State was recorded as one of the states where females emerged winners of the State House of Assembly and National Assembly seats.
There are many women who venture into businesses beyond fashion designing and entertainment.
There are still a reasonable number of women in the science and technology space and a lot more in the medical and engineering spaces that have not been recorded yet.
For these unknown women who have done so much in these sectors, it is time to seek for opportunities to groom other women who are yet to discover themselves.
From the young girl in Bekwarra who does not believe that her life’s purpose is beyond pounding yam for each meal to the teenage girl in Bakassi whose life has been ruined by her parents because they have to put food on their table.
From the elderly woman in Ikom who has been made to believe that selling banana is all there is to the single mother in Calabar South who has lost hope in her dreams.
There is more work to be done to bridge the gender gap in Cross River State.
Together, we can drastically reduce the time to close the gender parity gap below 200 years.
This is a call to join hands to make the voices of women heard and to put to an end, all social abuses faced by women so that they can fully exercise their God given rights.
For every woman to be courageous enough to say #MeToo and to also voice out when hurt, women must collectively take gender advocacy to the streets and not limit this activism to social media networks.
We see women who shout #WifeNotCook on Facebook but become slaves in their husbands’ houses.
We cannot be advocating for our rights online and leave other women to keep struggling offline.
I will end this article with a quote from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngouka, the UN Women Executive Director.
She averred that: “We need more women leaders! When women lead side by side with men, it is good for equality. It is good for business. When women and men make decisions together, the decisions better reflect and respond to the diverse needs and rights of the entire population.”
Long live amazing women around the world!
Long live Nigerian women!
Long live Niger Delta Women!
Long live Cross River State women!
Long live our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters!
Frank Edima is a journalist, a community development expert and CrossRiverWatch correspondent in Bakassi
NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Edima Frank, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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