Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has advocated the need for empowerment of women to enable them grow the global economy and boost countries Gross Domestic product.
According to a statement from Government House, Uyo, the Governor Emmanuel made the advocacy at this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration held at Ibom Hall grounds, Uyo.
He observed that greater percentage of Women are involved in the socio-economic growth of the society and described the theme of the celebration “pledge for parity” as apt considering the present level of awareness by the female folk whom he said have made their mark in their political and economic pursuits.
“In societies where women rights and empowerment remain a work in progress, great progress has been made. In Bangladesh, a strictly Islamic country, Sheik Hasina, was voted the Prime Minister, Brazil, the largest economy in Latin America and its close neighbour, Argentina has had women Presidents, Britain and Germany two of the world’s most industrialized nations had and is still being led by a female president. The United States appears to be on the cusp of electing the first woman President in Senator Hilary Clinton.
“In corporate world, we have had such great amazons as Carly Fiorina, who once led Hewlett Packard, and was recently a candidate for the president of the United States on the Republican platform; we have IndraNooyi who is the Chief Executive of Pepsi Cola and numerous other high achievers.
“Surely, the effort of pioneer agitators for women’s right such as the venerable Susan. B. Anthony, who started this movement when she convened the first ever Women’s Right Conference at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 has not been in vain,” the Governor stated.
He endorsed the advocacy for gender equality and charged the women to close ranks and fashion out a viable modality to achieve the vision, explaining that God did not create anyone superior to the other, adding that the perceived inequality is man’s configuration and urged the women to rise to the task.
Governor Emmanuel who expressed appreciation to AkwaIbom women for the support given his administration pledged to partner the women in their socio-economic and political programmes and commended the organisers of the ceremony for the ingenuity in the content of the event especially the exhibition of the various food and Agricultural Products.
The State Chief Executive awarded prizes to the winners in the march past and cultural display competitions with Ini Local Government Area clinching the first position in the march past followed by Onna and Etinan Local Government Area. In the cultural display, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District came top followed by Eket Senatorial District. Uyo Senatorial District however suffered casualty for breaching the rules of the contest with double entry.
Earlier the Wife of the Governor Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel charged the women to examine the implication of achieving the goal within the stipulated time frame adding that the men folk had long cleared the hurdle through sustainable training and access for the women to attain leadership positions.
She said the equality sought would be realised if the women take full advantage of opportunities to make the mark and commended the state government for the thirty five percent affirmative action in the number of women in the cabinet as she called on the women to rise to their faith of greatness.