It is time for progress – Suzette Wike

Wife of Rivers State Governor, Justice Suzette Eberechi Wike has said that the 2018 international women’s day should usher in a time for progressive upliftment of women in the society.

The First Lady, who applauded women for their courage, maintained that the International Women’s Day is observed every 8th of March to celebrate acts of courage, determination and progress made by women who have played unique and extraordinary roles in the history of their communities and nations.

She said: “It is also a day where all women across the globe are recognized for their achievements and contributions without regard to ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political differences”

She reiterated the call for the transformation of women’s lives especially those living in the rural areas as they make up over a quarter of the world population but are being left behind in every measure of development.

“These rural women mostly engage in agricultural labour force, till the land and plant seeds to feed our nations. They toil day and night just to ensure food security for their families and communities.

“Yet, on almost every aspect of development or privileges, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination that still exist in our different communities, these rural women fare worse than we can imagine.

“Though much progress have been made to protect and promote both urban and rural women’s rights in recent times, but we still need to do a lot more.

“United Nation’s report on gender parity shows that the majority of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor are women and that a good number of those in paid employment recieve between 30 to 40% less pay than their male counter part earn for the same work.

“Women also continue to be victims of violence, trafficking, harmful traditional practices such as forced and (or) early child marriage, female genital mutilation, wife inheritance etc, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.

“Thus, our collective actions and responsibilities in ensuring an end to all forms of violence, discrimination and marginalization of our women and girls, will greatly aid in making this yearly celebration successful.

“I therefore urge our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and all concerned, to join in the global campaign of empowerment of our rural and urban women in all settings, and to further encourage all those working relentlessly in ensuring that women’s rights and full potentials are realized.

“Together, let’s all press for the progress of our women and girls today and always, in order not to leave any woman behind” she said.

This year’s edition of international women’s day was greeted with fanfare in and around Port Harcourt as women engaged with each other by visiting the less privileged and the disabled.