By Oboh Agbonkhese
LAGOS—THE key to Africa’s development is in giving women and girls their rights and opportunity to actualise their aspirations and potentials.
These were the sentiments of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Women Commission, at the International Women’s Day celebration in Lagos, yesterday.
Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Oyinkan Olasanoye, said Africa was poor because leaders had failed to carry women along, explaining that women were not in contests with their husbands, brothers, uncles and nep-hews, but just wanted to participate in management.
She said: “Women suddenly become widows due to crises; illiteracy among women is frightening and early marriages and sexual exploitation are rampant. These can impede development.
“Gender equality does not mean women ruling over men; it guarantees a level playing field devoid of discriminations.”
Earlier, the President of TUC, Mr. Boboi Kaigama, said the theme of this year’s celebration, Be Bold for Change, was apt.
He said democracy was a game of numbers and women have the numerical advantage, telling women that “wherever you are, insist on being heard. Do not give up or die with your ideas.”
Other dignitaries at the event were labour leaders; the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode; Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who both sent representatives; Mrs Owugar Akinbode, who gave a talk on the theme, and Bishop Priscillia Otuya, who spoke on Home Management in the Era of Be Bold for Change.