International Women’s Day: “One Day I Will”…

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Nigerian Human Rights Activist Dr. Josephine Odumakin meeting with Ms. Michelle Obama. Photo/Bella Naija

International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality. It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognized each year, March 8.

Its roots can be traced to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours.

A year later, the first National Woman’s Day was observed in the US February 28, 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

The first IWD to be officially recognized as thus happened in 1911, so the centenary was celebrated in 2011 and in that same year US President Barack Obama proclaimed March to be Women’s History Month.

Women in Nigeria have committed to play a crucial role in the development of democracy and the growth of job opportunities, wage and living standards for every woman in the country. The overarching traditional belief system will not be allowed to pigeon-hole women into specific perfunctory roles.

With movements towards making sure that rape is not blamed on the victims choice of clothing and behavior in both the social and political realm, to efforts to allow for women to play specific and leading roles in talks of gender inequality; women in Nigeria and the Nigerian diaspora recognize that there is still a long fight ahead for the humanization, equal and fair treatment of women and girls in all realms of our society.

Today we celebrate the achievements of women like Yemi Adamolekun Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance, newly elected Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals; Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. As well as Nigerian gay rights activitist Aderonke Apata and famous activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of “We Should All Be Femenists.”

Happy International Women’s Day, in solidarity.

(With Information from The Telegraph UK)