International Women’s Day: FG urged to protect girl-child from abduction in boarding schools, ensure Leah Sharibu’s return

Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw representing Cross River South in the Senate on Friday called for more equitable distribution of positions, responsibilities and opportunities irrespective of gender and social status to bring out the best in the citizens.

Henshaw made the call in Lagos at the flag-off of activities to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration by the Nigeria Girl Guides Association (NGGA) which also featured election of new executives of the association.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration is: “Choose to Challenge”.

The International Women’s Day, held every March 8, is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

According to the lawmaker, giving equal opportunities to all will provide a sense of belonging to all and advance national integration and development, thereby making the country a better place.

He said that leaders should give women deserved positions in all areas of endeavour, in a bid to move the nation forward.

” We can see the number of women in the National Assembly, it is a very small fraction.

” Some administrations gloat over appointing women into ministerial or advisory positions.

” This should not be so. It is a right because intellectually, I think that some women are very smart; so, for me, I think a lot of men need to be self-assured or have self confidence.

” I feel it is the long history of tradition where the man is seen as the boss around the house and, therefore, if one has a woman that surpasses him in intellect or in earning and others, he begins to feel insecure.

” However, I feel there are some women too that should be checked, it should be both ways,” he said.

He said that it was encouraging that Nigerian women were already aiming at breaking the proverbial glass ceiling in offices, business and the political space, among other areas.

According to him, the recent appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation should remain a strong source of encouragement and inspiration for an average Nigerian woman.

He said that such a feat should be continually celebrated in the country.

Henshaw urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts in protecting the girl-child striving to attain education in every part of the country, especially in the face of the rampant abduction of students from boarding schools.

” The government should specifically look into the issue of Leah Sharibu to determine where she is, who is holding her and why, and bring her back.

The outgoing Chief Commissioner of the NGGA, Mrs Maria-Goretti Sule, said that the theme of the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration was apt.

“This is so as girls and women across the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement are sharing what and how they will choose to challenge injustices they are faced with,” she said.

She said that the girls and women were determined to transform challenges into positive changes.

” Women and girls are still discriminated against everyday for simply being themselves.

“They are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at schools and in workplaces.

” Little wonder the World Health Organisation reported that the violence they suffer is a global health problem of epidemic proportion,” Sule said.

Newsmen report that some of the newly-elected executives of the NGGA include Mrs Rhoda Thomas as Chief Commissioner, Mrs Lilian Damie, National Project Commissioner, and Mrs Titilola Oluwatoyin as Public Relations Officer.

The NGGA is the largest uniformed voluntary organisation dedicated to girls and young women in the world.

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