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Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress

Today, March 8, 2024 is International Women’s Day.  It is a global celebration established more than a century ago to honour women and the essence they bring to the world with their existence. It is a day women’s achievements are celebrated, awareness about women’s equality raised, and as well, call for positive change advancing women, among others.

Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress, is the theme for this year’s celebration. The theme is apt as it focuses on the 5th Sustainable Development Goals that aimed at achieving all gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030 which was adopted in 2015. It highlights the significance of diversity and empowerment across all sectors of society. International Women’s Day originated in 1857 when garment workers in New York City marched and protested, demanding improved working condition and equal rights for women. Their rank was broken by the police, and 51 year later on March 8, 1908 their sisters in the needle trade in New York marched again, honouring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweetshop and child labour. This time, the police was involved.

In 1910 at the second International Women’s Day held in Copenhagen, a worldwide Socialist Party Congress, German Socialist Clam Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day to commemorate the US demonstrations and honour working women, the world over.

The International Women’s Day has always been associated with the colour purple symbolizing dignity, justice and royalty towards the women’s movement, green signifying hope, and white also signifying purity. Purple is the colour that comes out when pink and blue are mixed together. Pink represents feminine energy while blue is used for masculine. It can be said that purple is used to express equality.

Over the years, women have been through unending pains and disappointments despite the fact that they are the embodiment of a goddess; they give birth to life and also help to sustain it. By establishing a day like this, the world is aiming for a better society for women.

In Africa, the struggle for women empowerment is not an easy one. With the effort of women in the past, modern women have found it necessary to push on. Today, many women are in various public and private institutions proving that being a woman does not remove anything from their brain. In the International arena, women have occupied many high positions, heading the State and performing very well. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela, a Nigerian woman is the first woman and African to serve as Director General of World Trade Organization.

In Nigeria, late Prof. Dora Akunyili did very well as the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). If she was not empowered educationally she would not have risen to the position. So are many other women who had to combine domestic work with public service. These women are role models to others.

As the world honor the women with a day like this, we should not forget to celebrate our mothers, wife, and sister and above all, thank God for giving the women the inspiration to fight for the course of fellow women. Women should be celebrated world over.

In Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, International Women’s Day was highlighted. ‘Women should be celebrated. They bear children, take care of them, and still do other jobs to keep the family alive, they should be celebrated”, Mrs. Amara Kate Oyeka,  Senior Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State on IGR Technical, advised. Women should be trained and empowered. Empowering women should not be seen as charity.

To all women who struggled in the past, you are truly an inspiration for many of us to work hard towards your goals. Happy Women’s Day to every woman. May you be celebrated today and every day for your strength, grace and achievements.

 

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