There are two major tools of survival for women in a male domineering world like ours today. The first is proper equipment for economic independence and productivity thereby being very useful to yourselves, your families and the society at large. The second tool is the acquisition of proper and relevant information as regards your rights and privileges because not being informed is same as being deformed. Women should therefore know their rights and claim same since the time for progress is now. YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE YOU ARE PRESENTLY AND WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE THAT YOU ARE NOT, EMPOWERS YOU TO DEMAND YOUR RIGHTS, RESPECT, DIGNITY AND RELEVANCE, EVEN WHEN YOU CANNOT COMMAND THEM.
The era of timidity, shyness, being in our shells or underrating ourselves is over. Let us take the bull by the horn and cry out whenever we are victimized, dehumanized, oppressed, humiliated or discriminated against. We should be bold to expose ills and all forms of violence against women no matter who is responsible. All cases of violence against women should not be swept under the carpet. They should be formally reported for appropriate sanctions to be taken by the appropriate authorities. The culprit of such abuses should not be spared because others are watching and if no stern measure is taken, women will continue to suffer in silence. Stigmatization should be overlooked because the victims silently suffer more by being in trauma all their lives which could push them into violence eventually.
Women are endowed with so much potentials and rights for the development of mankind and the society. We are at a vantage position as we constitute a larger proportion of the population. Unfortunately, we are being left out on decision making matters that bother even on our lives as a people. I therefore challenge you to prove your worth, exert your energy, showcase your talents, demonstrate your relevance, and attract attention by excelling and contributing meaningfully towards the development of our society. Yet very prominent rhetorical questions come to mind at this juncture, what will you be remembered for as an individual? What shall the women of this generation be remembered for in years to come?
A couple of women have played prominent roles both in politics and nation building. In 1957 during the pre-independence era, a few female political activists like Mrs. Margret Ekpo, Mrs. Janet Mokelu, Ms. Young were members of the eastern house of assembly. Late Mrs.FunmilayoRansomeKuti was a very strong force to reckon with in the politics of the then western region even though she was not a full-fledged politician. The political and cultural emancipation of women in Northern Nigeria was (fiercely) fought by HajiaGamboSawaba.
The office of the first lady was institutionalized in 1987 by Maryam Babangida during the Babangida era. She was the first working first lady and she launched the programme “Better life for Rural Women”. The women who played prominent roles in the political scene include Mrs.Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the former Minister of finance who served the nation in a very outstanding manner. Also Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili laid a land mark, who is also championing the bring back our girls (Chibok) campaign, while Late Professor Dora Akuyili of NAFDAC performed credibly leading the fight against adulterated pharmaceutical drugs.
Queen Amina of Zaria, porpularly known as a legend among the Hausa people for her military exploits, was a great military strategist who fought and won many wars. She ruled for 34 historical years. The trade routes in her region were all under her control as she created a good network of commerce within the great earthen walls that surrounded the Hausa cities within her domain.
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