“The day will come when men will recognize a woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” — Susan B. Anthony.
Every 8th day of March, yearly, has been designated as a day when women are specially celebrated. Thus, today is a special day for all the women all over the world; our sweet mothers, loving wives, beloved sisters and adorable daughters. Women are special creatures who deserve special attention with exceptional care.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Choose to Challenge”. The theme, “Choose to Challenge”, is hinged on the assertion of Margaret Sanger who opined; “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
This is a carefully thought out theme meant to encourage the women to stand up and challenge the current status quo of our society bedevilled by heinous crimes, terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, rape, child abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, to mention but a few. All the above mentioned societal ills have direct consequences on women; women are the recipients of all these vices, directly or indirectly.
Women are the ones that are mostly raped and abused, they are the major victims of domestic violence, they bear the trauma of any kidnap, human trafficking, banditry and terrorism as the victims will always be either their children, husbands or siblings. Suffice it to say that the society is a circle around women and anything that affects the society affects the women, distinctively.
It is my solemn belief that when women stand up to challenge any status quo, there must be remarkable positive changes. I do believe in the power of women; I believe they have inherent capacity and energy that can upturn what seems impossible. When a woman is determined, even the greatest warrior turns to a puppet; Biblical Sampson vs Delilah is a case study.
Women are no weaker Sex; whoever thinks that women are the weaker Sex is actually underrating the innate transformational power of women. “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform”, asserts Diane Mariechild. How can a gender with such power be referred to as a weaker Sex? That is tantamount to fallacy of over generalization.
It’s quite unfortunate that in this part of the world, Africa, women are still seen as an inferior Sex or a gender meant to augment and serve men. “We still live in a world in which a significant fraction of people, including women, believe that a woman belongs and wants to belong exclusively in the home”, says Rosalyn Sussman. On the contrary, women are full of potentials and charisma which, if allowed to blossom, can make this world a better place.
Women who have had the opportunity to hold political powers and portfolios have proved themselves to be better hands in governance and administration. “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”, opines Eleanor Roosevelt. There is need to give women opportunities in political terrain and administrative offices, just like the male gender, so as to enable them bring out the best in them for the betterment of our society. Women are natural administrators, more reason they are always able to build homes and put them in order even when faced with so many challenges.
As they choose, today, to challenge the status quo that has alienated them from the decision making tables and relegated them to kitchen depot, let us lend them our support and voices. This is one of the objectives of Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP); we are living up to it as most of the principal officers of the Parliament are women. We encourage women to delve into politics and get themselves to the table of decision making in the society.
I celebrate all the women today and always. I wish to encourage them as they choose to challenge the current status quo. Paraphrasing Robert Tew, I enjoin them; “Challenge yourself every day to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances.” As you decide to move beyond your present circumstances, do not be deterred by the society; equip yourself, speak out, give in your best and remain undaunted.
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” —Brigham Young.
#Happy International Women’s Day 2021!
#Choose to Challenge!
#Women are no weaker Sex!
#Women can change the world!
Rt. Hon. Rikki Chinedu Nwajiofor, Cmi.
Speaker, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).