Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
As the world marks International Women’s Day (IWD) today, a Non Governmental Organisation based in Abuja, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has called for total eradication of all forms of discrimination against women.
The Foundation said the call has become necessary in view of the fact that rural women constitute over a quarter of the world population, stressing that majority of the 43 percent of women are in the global agricultural labour force.
President, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. (Mrs.) Jumai Ahmadu, stated that the IWD, which is celebrated every March 8, affords women all over the world the opportunity to address issues bordering on women especially rural women.
Dr. Ahmadu, while commenting on this year’s theme; “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, described the theme as apt, stressing that there is no better time to address myriads of issues faced by women in this country.
She revealed that the International Women’s Day which has been celebrated for 100 years is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, adding that the day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
She, however, noted with regret the United Nations reports that less than 20 percent of landholders worldwide are women, while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 percent, in rural areas, affirming that it can be as high as 40 percent in some cases.
According to her, “to address this glaring pay gap between men and women in society, Helpline Foundation is one of the co-host of the ongoing United Nations Africa Women Conference in New York.
“And as soon as I finish with the media, I will join other women across the glob to continue our advocacy on the rights of women”.
She called on all stakeholders to put all hands on deck to ensure a better live for the woman, adding that the Foundation has put several skill acquisition programmes in place to empower rural women in Nigeria.
Recalled that International Women’s Day seeks to celebrate women’s achievements, as well as act as a catalyst for change when it comes to gender equality. It has been observed for over 100 years and is now celebrated around the globe.