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2023 IWD: All hands must be on deck to dismantle barriers to gender equity – Philip Umeadi


…..As Rotary Club of Abuja Municipal Inducts Umeadi

….Donates wheel-chair, educational items, sanitary pads to person-in-need

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – As Rotary Club of Abuja Municipal joins the rest of the world in celebrating their women in commemoration of the 2023 International Women’s Day, Philip Umeadi Esq., has said that all hands must be on deck, if the barriers to achieve gender equity must be dismantled.

Umeadi, who stated this in his keynote address as the Lead Speaker at that occasion held on Thursday at Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja with the theme: “Dismantling The Barriers To Achieve Gender Equity”, noted that the reason why attainment of gender equity has been slow is that there have been so much arguments on equality rather than equity, and as such, dismantling some of these barriers have not been very effective.

According to the former INEC Commissioner, some of the barriers towards attainment of gender equity are in forms of cultural, legal and stereotypes barriers. Others are pro-male vibes, motherhood penalty, think-leader-think-male vibes, benevolent bias and lack of confidence.

Umeadi has this to say about pro-male vibes: “This operates under the illusion that it is the man’s world. That everything else that comes after men will not work because the men are in charge”. He added that it is a barrier and a mindset that is inappropriate.

He also highlighted that “Motherhood penalty vibes consider that as mothers, the feminine gender must not be subjected to certain situations that will jeopardise the innocence of their children or be threat to the unborn. Excluding women from what they call motherhood issues by reason of the fact that they are mothers and will not be able to do some certain things, example that a nursing mother cannot be in detention because it means that the child will also be in detention with the mother.” He said “we have seen where that happened and because of that, the state is unwilling to release the woman.

On the think-leader-think male bars, Umeadi said it has to do with a situation where people tend to associate leadership with masculine traits. Here leadership, he said, is about men not about women. He argued that such a mindset needs to be dismantled because it kills the woman’s right to aspire and confines her to mundane things. Because of this, women are not allowed to aspire to their greatest potentials. It’s a situation where men think that women are so vulnerable and they are sympathetic to their cause. It consists of the benevolent act of men associating women with vulnerability and therefore the woman must be protected. This is the reason why women don’t get into some appointed positions.

He was also of the view that sometimes, women are their own problem because of what he called lack of confidence. He said that life-time exposure to these barriers has made a lot of women to stop thinking about excellence. They no longer want to live under this barrier and what do they do? It comes with a subtle pressure, that pressure is the pressure not to live under this barrier, he added.

Three other panelists who took their turn to make contributions on the barriers to gender equity and how to dismantle them are Dame Princess Joy Okoro, Osinachi Egboga and Christiana Oliko.

Mrs Joy Okoro submitted that religious barrier is another factor hampering gender equity. She added that if women are given chance to do a lot of things, the world would change for good. She added that a home without a woman is unimaginable.

On her part, Mrs Egboga harped on inadequate legislation as one of the obvious barriers to gender equity and called for more legislation that will empower the women.

Mrs Christiana Oliko, who who painted a picture of girl-child who is not allowed to do some things like the boy-child can be given out to marriage at early age. She, therefore, said that to.dusmantle such barriers, the girl-child should be educated and well equipped, adding that an educated woman will ensure that there will be food in the house. Mrs Oliko therefore stressed that equipping the girl child from birth and equal rights with her brothers is one sure way to dismantle the barriers to achieve gender equity.

The Rotary Club of Abuja Municipal also inducted Philip Umeadi into her fold as a Rotarian and gave awards to the three panelists for excellence.

The highlights of the occasion was the donation of wheel-chair, school bags, exercise books, calculator and sanitary pads to persons-in-need.

The President of Rotary Club Abuja Municipal, Rotn Emeka Iloegbunam, who was the host and moderator, noted that they were also born to meet the barriers, assured that Rotarians are doing their best to make the world a better place.

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