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Women’s Day: Invest more in women

By Boluwatife Akinola

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In a world where gender equality remains an ongoing pursuit, International Women’s Day serves as both a celebration of progress and a reminder of the work yet to be done. 

This year, under the theme “Inspired Inclusion,” the focus turns to the vital role of investing in women across all sectors. From boardrooms to classrooms, from startups to established industries, the call for inclusivity echoes louder than ever.

Women being included is not just about being fair; it is super important for societies and economies.

Research proves that when teams and leaders are diverse, things turn out better, both money-wise and for society. When businesses and communities listen to women and use their different ideas and skills, they can make new things, grow in a way that lasts, and make things fairer for everyone in the future.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, women from different fields highlight problems that need fixing and ways to make sure everyone is included.

The monitoring and evaluation manager for the Stand Out for Environment Restoration (SOFER) initiative, Ms. Uyi Edem Effiom, said the women in the coastal communities need to be more cared for and invested in.

She said it is important to help women in coastal areas, especially those who work in fishing, noting that these women often depend only on their husbands or fathers for money, and they have to deal with unpredictable weather.

In her words, “Government should invest in women and in the coastal communities, especially women in the fishery management, women who are dealing with how to fend for themselves, or women who are solely relying on men as a sole source of income.”

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“These women in the coastal communities are mostly relying on their husbands and fathers for their source of livelihood; they also rely on the weather for their source of income. They are really strong, but they need special help to overcome these challenges and improve their lives,” she said.

The environmental advocate called on governments, international organizations, stakeholders and groups to consider helping more than just women in technology.

Effiom added that it is important to support women who work hard to provide food for their families.

“So when governments, stakeholders, or international organizations want to invest, they should not only invest in women in tech. They should look down on the coastal communities that spend their entire life getting food. The farmers in the coastal communities should be careful because they bring these to the source for consumption.

Women and girls who are into fishing management or fishing itself, especially those in coastal communities, should be looked out for. The government should look into them because they are in a rural area, and they should be remembered,” she said.

Dr. Oritoke Okeowo, a lecturer and researcher at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), emphasized the importance of treating women with intentionality and equality, starting from childhood. 

She stressed the need for inclusivity and representation of the female gender in all aspects of life, including positions of leadership and opportunities.

According to Dr. Okeowo, allowing women to flourish in every sector and career is crucial for achieving gender equality. She called for equal opportunities for women in all fields, emphasizing that what is available to men should also be accessible to women.

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The mental health advocate highlighted the significance of investing in women, particularly in education and vocational studies, to empower them to reach their full potential.

However, she urged the government to take concrete steps to support working mothers. She suggested creating facilities, such as daycare centers, in workplaces to allow mothers to keep their children close while they work.

The neuroscientist emphasized the importance of providing adequate break time for mothers to care for their children and promoting a supportive environment for working mothers.

The program officer at Kids and Teens Resource Center, Oluwabukola Aremu,emphasized the importance of tackling gender inequality, particularly in pay, opportunities, and representation across various sectors. 

Oluwabukola stressed how crucial it is for all women to have access to complete reproductive healthcare, family planning, and education and highlighted the necessity of advocating for women’s rights to control their bodies and receive essential healthcare services.

She said numerous women experience underpayment and limited job opportunities solely because of their gender. 

She emphasized the urgency of addressing domestic violence and sexual assault to guarantee a safe environment for all women and girls. 

Oluwabukola urged for advocacy and action to eradicate gender-based violence and foster a society where everyone feels safe and secure.

Additionally, she advocated for increased access to quality education for girls globally to empower them to make a positive impact in society.

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Women’s Day: Invest more in women

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