To commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter, has warned against various biases and stereotypes that could limit women from reaching their peak of leadership, careers or businesses.
NMA Chairman, Dr Adetunji Adenekan, and Secretary, Dr Ime Okon, made the call in a statement they jointly signed in Lagos at the weekend.
According to World Economic Forum (WEF), this year’s IWD aims to highlight the role women have been playing at the forefront of the global health crisis – as health workers and caregivers, community organisers and innovators.
This year “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” is the theme and it emphasises on how leaders in every sphere of society should continually use their platforms to speak against these stereotypes.
The duo added that this would pave way to make progress collectively, and achieve a Greater Lagos and indeed, a better Nigeria.
According to them, a great society is one that enables people to thrive and reach their peaks, irrespective of their genders.
They said that the society should allow people to contribute their quotas without being boxed in a corner.
“The IWD sheds light on the gravity of the work that needs to be done to further bridge the inequality gap in our society.
“Many women are still being discouraged from aspiring to reach great heights, because they were told that ‘a woman’s place is in the kitchen.
“Today, the world is celebrating some of our women.
“Imagine, if they were not properly educated, or that they did not get the requisite supports needed, because of age-long derogatory stereotypes limiting women from exhibiting their full potential,” they said.
Both associational leaders urged the government to ensure that the rights of women were upheld, while violence against women must never be tolerated in any way.
“The girl-child must be encouraged to study to the highest level attainable.
“We must do all it takes to end child marriage and prosecute those who engage in such abominable acts.
“Women should be encouraged to get actively involved in politics.
“We must also intentionally celebrate and continually support women who are exemplary and excelling in their various fields of endeavour,” they said.