By Michael Oche, Abuja
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged women to take advantage of the International Women’s Day (IWD) to challenge all forms of inequalities perpetrated against them.
Speaking during the 2021 IWD celebration organised by the TUC, comrade, Shaibu Afusatu, the Chairperson of the TUC Women Commission, said the earlier we stop paying lip service to issues of gender inequality and injustices against them, the better.
She said the world must urgently transform and redistribute power, to safeguard our future and planet.
She said, “it is very important to mention that the International Women’s Day is powered by the collective efforts of all. It is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, therefore the theme for this year is “Women in Leadership: Achieving An Equal Future In a COVID-19 World, #ChooseToChallenge”.
“You will agree with me that COVID-19 has actually come to stay with us, it is called the “New Normal”. As a matter of fact we do not have a choice but to take responsibility and leave with it. Dear brothers and sisters, you will also agree with me that Women are more affected because they are more in numbers in the battlefield as nurses, care givers, laboratory attendants and the rest.”
Speaking earlier, TUC president, comrade Quadri Olaleye decried what he described as the apparent violation of Women Rights’ and seeming injustice done to women cause by the society at large.
He said, “This year’s celebration is a remarkable one that came with mixed feelings because of the emergence of COVID-19 Pandemic that came shortly after the last year celebration. Though, the Pandemic had taken away lives, crippled the world economy, Nigeria inclusive, restricted our movements and activities but as humans, the Almighty has preserved our lives, then we must gather together to celebrate our hardworking women.
“The theme for the occasion ‘#ChoosetoChallenge’: which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.”
According to him, “May I use this occasion to encourage you to challenge the general myth in society that women-related issues are not a big deal. Many people believe that the gender gap does not really exist in the society and efforts by individuals are not enough and cannot bring any change to the gender gap.
“On the contrary, gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’ but affects both women and men, as it is rooted in the relationship between the two. Both women and men have to change their ways of working, attitudes and social norms, to ensure both are equal, empowered and dignified.”
He said the Women’s Day is all about making society realise that each individual has to work in a different way with a view to change the society towards a better future and ensuring that women’s rights are not trampled upon.
“The importance of women in the society is beyond any suspicion, even the progress of the nation depends upon the way the mothers bring up their children. If the mothers are educated, then the whole society will progress,” he said.
He said the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) is very conversant with women issues in the front burners which ranges from child marriage, rape in marriages, sexual harassment, abduction of girls, and more, adding that the Congress would continue to sustain the campaign for gender equality.