The gross underutilisation of women in Nigeria has been identified as a major obstacle to the nation’s political and socio-economic development.
Chairperson of University of Uyo Women Association (UWA) Mrs. Rosalyn Enefiok Essien stated this yesterday in her opening address at the First National Conference of the University Women Association held in Uyo with the theme: “University women in nation building: From the home front to the frontlines’’.
Mrs. Essien said that the place of women in any endeavour cannot be over emphasized adding that given their enormous contributions to socio-economic development, there can be no meaningful advancement where women are excluded.
She explained that 51 years after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the declaration on elimination of all forms of discriminations against women, most African women are still faced with such challenge.
‘’In Africa, the vulnerable conditions of women are more critical, given lingering gender inequalities, domestic violence, lack of social protection, among other issues, that exacerbate injustice and privation. These and many more limit their ability to reach their full potential. There appear to be a prevailing ideology of biological determined spheres of activity which assumes a superior public domain that is male and an inferior domestic domain that is female; this need not to be so for women who made up more than half of the population of Nigeria state. Our position is that if women can build a home she can as well build a nation,’’ she said.
She stated that the conference seeks political, economic, legal, social and cultural involvement of women in nation building process.
‘’At home front, women are custodians of the cooking room and the other room but as patriarchy looms, there appears to a faint justification for the role of women beyond these rooms,” she added.
She called on women to always support one another as the problem of women are better solved with women and not men.
Welcoming the participants to the conference, vice chancellor of University of Uyo, Professor Enefiok Essien who was represented by the Vice Chancellor Administration, Professor Godfrey Udo commended the association for the noble initiatives aimed at giving them the needed push to be on the frontline in the process of nation building.