By Kingsley Omonobi—ABUJA
Founder/President, Aspire Women Forum, Mrs Zainab Marwa-Abubakar, has called on women to get involved in politics by getting registered with political parties, noting that this should be done at the local levels for a start.
She made this known at a symposium by the forum to celebrate and commemorate International Women’s Day in Abuja.
According to Mrs. Marwa Abubakar, women should play their part and dare to challenge the status quo in the 2023 general elections in line with the theme of IWD-2021.
She said the programme, with the theme ‘Be the Change, Dare to Challenge’, which is in line with theme of IWD 2021 ‘Choose to Challenge’s, “seeks to focus on politics”.
Zainab Marwa Abubakar said: “For so long, women have been barred from political participation by invisible but the very strong dark ceiling.
“We were told that women in politics were wrong to dare. But today, I say to you that the ceiling has been shattered because we dare to win, learn, grow and challenge.
“We have to be the change, we have to dare the challenge and chose to challenge.
“As 2023 draws near, I believe that women are going to take their rightful place as leaders, policymakers and decision-makers in this power play.”
She expressed concern that the recent spate of the kidnapping of school children, especially girls, saying it would have a negative impact on girl-child education and number of out-of-school children in the country.
Aspire Women Forum Founder added that the abductions that are happening in the North right now will definitely affect the education of the girl-child.
She, however, expressed confidence that the recent appointment of new service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari would lead to abating the security challenges.
On her part, the National Coordinator, Aspire Young Women Forum, Gift Johnbull, said that nation-building was a collective effort and young people are actually key ingredients.
Johnbull raised the concern that the young population had been plagued by a very strong vice called drug abuse, saying that about 15 million young person’s including women were currently plagued with drug abuse in the country.
According to her, people actually indulge in drug abuse thinking it that is an escape from reality, but then it leads the victim in a very terrible mess.
“I stand with General Buba Marwa(retd) to say no to drug abuse by the youth. Face reality and deal with it and say no again to drug abuse.
“My advice for women is to believe in their capabilities and know that they can actually be important ingredients in nation building and get involved in politics because as they can build the home front, they can also build the nation,” she said.
In her goodwill message, Adaora Onyechere, Head of Women and Gender Affair, African Union ECOSOC Committee, challenged the women to seek to challenge the status quo by getting involved in politics.
Onyechere said that politics was not just about running an election or joining a political party but being who you are in where you are and making your life count.
She said that women should not wait until when they join a political party but begin to make an impact from wherever they are to make their voice heard.
The Coordinator, ECOWAS Female Parliamentarian Association, Blessing Atiri, also advised the women to be bold and take up the challenge, adding that timid women never made an impact.