IWD : NAWOJ FCT Celebrates Grassroot Women, Inspiring Inclusion

It was a new dawn yesterday, as members of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) FCT Chapter came out in their numbers to put smiles across the faces of over 200 women at the Nga’Kupi Sapeyi Palace in Garki Village, FCT as part of activities marking the 2024 International Women’s Day. Ruth Tene Natsa was there for EarthNews Media‚Ķ Excerpts

Phylicia Rashad it was who said “Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens”.

It was therefore not a wonder that magic happened at the Garki community in Abuja when the leadership of the Association it is inaugural outing chose to celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD) with the community.

The IWD is the United Nations annual event set aside to celebrate women globally.The event which is usually a week long event commences March 8, with the theme for this year being “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”

For the NAWOJ FCT, this was the leadership inaugural outing tagged Inspire Inclusion: Empowering Grassroots Women, Bridging Gaps, Building Futures,

In her welcome remarks Chairperson NAWOJ FCT , Bassey Ita Ikpang said “the International Women’s Day holds a special significance in our hearts, as it serves as a reminder of the countless contribution made by women in shaping our society, our nation and our world as sisters, wives and mothers”.

“In every corner of the world, there are women that possess incredible potentials, strength ans resilience, many of these women, particularly those at the grassroots level, face numerous barriers that hinder their ability to thrive and contribute fully to their communities” Bassey said.

The Chairperson said”This formed part of the choice of our theme, even though the theme speaks of inspiring inclusion, empowering women is not just a matter of social justice, it is the essential for achieving sustainable development and fostering inclusive societies which the global theme demands”.

She Identified grassroots women as those who reside in rural or marginalized urban areas and often belong to economically disadvantages or minority groups, Bassey said “they are the backbone of their communities playing crucial roles in agriculture, small-scale businesses, caregiving and community development”.

She maintained that despite their invaluable contributions, grassroots women are often marginalized as they face multiple forms of discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status among other factors adding that when women are empowered they can break the cycle of poverty, advocate for their rights and become agents of change within their communities.

Bassey urged that for the above to happen, grassroots women must have access to quality education, have access to legal reforms to access their rights to lands, property and justice as well as having them included in leadership decision making processes at all levels.

Ms Bassey maintained that by bridging gaps and building futures, we can create a world where all women regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, have the opportunity to thrive, contribute and lead.

Also speaking on Women and Inheritance Rights, Senator Ita Enang said women are equal with men noting that some cultures and religions belief that women are inferior to men

I do not believe and that is not the position of the law. The law is that a woman has the same rights as a man, and that is why the women had to got to Beijing to make sure their rights are enforced

He informed that a father’s properties belong to both the male and female children noting that it is legally binding that both genders can benefit from inheritances

He further charged the Nigerian woman to take up her role in the fast changing society noting that women were vital members of society and should fully enjoy the rights the law provides for them.

Assistant Director in FRCN , Katherine Adunola Abimbola, tasked participants on the need to check on their mental health by learning to live within their means in view of present economic challenges and urged women to learn to have medical checks and not wait till they are down before running to the hospitals.

For chairperson of the IWD Organising Committee, Sandra Udeike of the FRCN, the event was an opportunity to invest and empower rural women.

She said the event was” an avenue to sensitize women on the need for preventive measures against cancer as well as enlighten them on their rights”

Dr Philip Andofa provided insights into cancer prevention strategies,while Mr Ahmed Magaji shared valuable information on malaria prevention and treatment.

Highlight of activities was sensitization walk by members, gifting of food packs to community members, dancing and more dancing among others.

Culled from EarthNews Media, Special IWD Report by Ruth Tene Natsa

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