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Women’s inclusion promotes development — Experts

By Emmanuel Oluwadola

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Academics in Ondo State have emphasized that the inclusion of women in every sector contributes to national development.

This charge was given at the 2024 International Women’s Day Roundtable Discussion organised by the Adekunle Ajasin University Centre for Gender Studies and Development (CGSD), Akungba-Akoko.

Present at the event held at AAUA’s Nelson Mandela Hall include, the school’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olugbenga Ige, the Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Olusegun Akanbi, Prof. Simon Odion Ehiabhi, among others.

In his address, Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olugbenga Ige, stressed that allowing women to engage their talents, skills, and expertise will further advance the country.

Prof. Ige added that all forms of gender discrimination and injustice in homes and communities should be discouraged, stressing that gender equality is a global issue that needs to be addressed.

“The significance of women’s contributions within the society cannot be overstated. Throughout the rich history of our esteemed institution, women have remained steadfast at the forefront of progress and development. Their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment have played an instrumental role in fostering peace, growth, and advancement, thereby elevating some societies and sectors to the esteemed pedestal they occupy today,” VC said.

The keynote speaker, Professor Simon Ehiabhi from the Department of History and International Studies, AAUA, said the inclusion of women is crucial because women contribute to the stability of homes.

Prof. Ehiabhi suggested that society should create an environment where all women are valued and empowered to participate in all aspects of human engagements.

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“The concept of women inclusion for development can also refer to women’s capacity to participate in collective decision-making, and the elimination of all forms of political, economic, cultural, laws, customs, beliefs, and institutional relegation of women to positions of inferiority to promote national development,” he said.

The host, who doubles as the Director for the Centre for Gender Studies and Development (CGSD) AAUA, Professor Victoria Olugbemi, also advocated gender balance at home and in society at large.

“We must encourage people to include women in the scheme of things, in the promotion of gender equality, equity, and balancing. Investment in women is germane to the nation’s progress and development. We must, therefore, realize that men and women have the right to aspire to any level to enable them contribute to the development of their environment for peace, progress, and development.”

She, however, highlighted that the year’s theme was to ‘Inspire Inclusion’ and further spread awareness for the understanding of women’s empowerment and sense of belonging.

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