By Sylvia Felix
Women groups and organizations in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, on Tuesday, took to the streets in a march to draw attention to the plight of women. They joined women all over the world to celebrate this year’s edition of the International Women’s Day.
The day is set aside to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It has been in existence for over a century. However, the declaration of March 8 as a national holiday after women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 made it popular, with the global feminist movement adopting it in the 60s.
The 2022 United Nations theme is; “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
And, in Calabar, women across ages trooped out to march to the State House of Assembly where they were addressed by the Speaker, Eteng Jones Williams (APC, Yakurr II).
Mr. Eteng who said the slogan chanted by the women, “no woman, no nation,” meant a lot, described the celebration as “a very important and unique day in the world,” since, everyone in the world was born by a woman.
“There is nobody in this world that was not born by a woman. Even Christ was born by a woman, and that makes it so critical and important. For women to come (out) in this magnitude, it means a lot. I imagine anytime I look at a woman, I remember my mom. Anything women are asking for, to me, is a win-win,” Eteng said.
It will be recalled that women groups, last week, protested at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory over the rejection of five constitutional amendment bills that reportedly promoted gender equality.
And, the Cross River chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in a statement frowned at the action which it said would have “liberated women in Nigeria.”
In the statement signed by the chairperson, Umo Basi-Edet and secretary, Maria Nsa Ewa, NAWOJ called on the legislators to reconsider and pass the bills.
The journalist union sued for increased collaboration to stop every form of, “segregation, discrimination and stereotype against women, as well as put an end to biases bordering on gender discrimination.”
Furthermore, it advised women to always love, support and encourage themselves, as they have the right to achieve their dreams and attain greater heights in their various fields without any limitations.
Below are images from different locations of the march.