By Egufe Yafugborhi
TOTAL. Exploration and Production Nigerian Limited (TEPNG) has challenged all Nigerians to support women’s to social justice and gender equality for common good of moving the nation forward.
The company’s Deputy Managing Director, Guillaume Dulout, threw up the challenge Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where the French oil giant motivated its host communities’ women on breaking sociocultural and political barriers limiting women’s access to leadership in Nigeria.
Dulout, represented by the General Manager, Community Affairs, Projects and Development, Obinna Ofoezie, said, “Total has always supported our women, be they in the community or within the workplace.
“Our pledge to support women is embodied in our targeted social enhancement programs designed for exclusive benefits for women group, including widows in the host communities.”
To the women, he said, “We implore you, our mothers and sisters to help the company deliver on these initiatives in peaceful ambiance in your community.”
Resource persons on the occasion, including former Rivers Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari and Dr. Charles Akpoki, identified apathy toward education of the girl child, discrimination against women on inheritance and political appointments among the most critical challenges limiting chances of the Nigerian in occupying leaderships.
On breaking the barriers to change the narrative of discrimination against women, Semenitari advocated, “Education is important, so also is ensuring that women no longer get lowly paid jobs.
“Government have a role to play. We must begin to put in place and abide by things like the Conventions on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women principles.
“The Equal Opportunities Bill has been a battle. We need to put in place legislations that make it possible for more women to have access. We must take away violence from our elections because women cannot cope and participate freely with violence.
“We must reduce the corruption and patronage system that makes it critical for women to spend the type of money they don’t have, and also, they, including women themselves must provide support structure for women.”
Host community women at the 2021Total’s celebration of the International Women’s Day on the theme, Choose To Challenge, were drawn from Rebisi, Egi, Opobo Nkoro, Rumuekpe, Elele Alimini, Elele Okeneli, Idu/Ama, Rumuogba, Andoni, Mgbiesilanu, Ekpeye communities among others.