2024 IWD celebration : Research women move to become change agents, champions of equality 

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2024 IWD celebration : Research women move to become change agents, champions of equality

Women in Abia state under the auspices of the National Root Crops Research Institute ( NRCRI ) Umudike Abia state have resolved to be change agents, champions of equality and advocates for a more inclusive and equitable world.

In this regard, they announced that they will strive to create a future where every woman and girl child would have the opportunity to thrive , contribute and lead with dignity and pride.

They did so while celebrating the 2024 annual International Women’s Day ( IWD ) celebration during which Mrs Ihuoma Uzosike , a lawyer, presented a paper titled ” Rights of Women and why Women should be included in the pride of place in administrative governance in Nigeria”.

The NRCRI Gender Head Dr Mercy Ejechi said that women will continue to advocate for gender equality, challenge stereotypes and create conducive environment where every individual regardless of gender, feels valued, respected and empowered to reach her full potential.

Abia state governor Dr Alex Otti said that women are epitome of grace, knowledge, strength, beauty.

NRCRI Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer , professor Chiedozie Egesi who spoke through Dr Tessy Madu, Director,

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as the Gender Focal Point, described this year’s International Women’s Day as an auspicious one for the NRCRI to celebrate the invaluable contributions of it’s great women scientists and farmers who play a crucial role in driving sustainable food production in Nigeria and beyond.

” We take immense pride in their achievements and specially honor them today. We believe in equitable and fair Agrifood systems that recognize the important roles women play in the development of our nation and the economic returns that are directly associated with it as we together inspire inclusion in national development”.

Under the 2024 celebration theme as  ” Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”, with the campaign as ” Inspire Inclusion” , the lecturer ( Mrs Uzosike ) said that though women have various rights, they were also being discriminated against.

She consequently posited that action must be taken and done each time the treatment done against the women is not equitable and every time the need arises.

The celebration featured other paper presentations by Drs. Ihuoma Okwuonu, Medical Doctor Uloaku Emma- Ukaegbu, Benjamin Okoye and Innocent Onyekwere and discussions on various female gender /women related issues ranging from health, family, agriculture, enterprise, discrimination, etc.

Abia state governor Dr Alex Otti had while addressing women during the state IWD celebration in Umuahia, the state capital

commended the women for their resilience and devotion to duty, not only at the home front but also in the workplace and society at large.

He described Nigerian women as epitome of grace, knowledge, beauty and strength, who have achieved so much in different areas of life, globally, saying ” in our highly gender sensitive administration, out of the total 24 Permanent Secretaries in the state, 17 of them are unprecedentedly women in the state civil/public service history”.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s IWD, “Inspire Inclusion”, governor Otti said that his government has been deliberate about empowering women through improved budgetary allocation to the various sectors that have direct implications on the welfare and well-being of the women and the girl child

He said ” our administration has also demonstrated commitment in the payment of counterpart fund for the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP); a project that seeks to support improved livelihoods for women in targeted areas of Abia and Nigeria, by influencing social norms related to gender equality, promoting social inclusion and establishing institutional platforms that improve women’s access to critical life, business and technical skills”.