AGAINST the backdrop of gender bias and inequality faced by many women, APIN public health initiative has lent its voice against female genital mutilation, gender-based violence and poor empowerment of women in Nigeria.
APIN Public Health Initiative, Oyo, Community Programme Officer, Mrs Bola Thompson, who spoke at its 2021 International Women’s Day celebration in collaboration with the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, said these are issues that must be challenged to create an inclusive world for women.
Thompson said individuals need to choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, question stereotypes while celebrating women’s achievements and collectively helping to create an inclusive and gender-equal world, especially for women in the reproductive age group.
The public health expert, noting that gender parity in government, workplace, healthcare, sports and media coverage is achievable through individual change, urged women to be happy with life, be resilient and always ready to play down anything that diminishes their personality as champions.
According to her, “You cannot really achieve much without happiness; situations of life will challenge you and these do not give warnings. Be resilient, only strong women can win in this world.”
The Oyo State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni who spoke through Mrs Eunice Odebunmi said the ministry have always maintained zero tolerance to social vices such as rape, child abuse, labour or neglect and violence against women, just as it assures of help for affected individuals through the ministry’s helpline.
OYSACA’s Community Mobilisation Officer, Mrs Tolulope Olusola-Jimoh in a panel discussion on women empowerment, healthy and stress-free living for women, including those living with HIV in the midst of COVID-19, said empowerment was key to ensuring women are free of abuse and violence.
She stated that women should speak out when they need help, challenge wrongdoings and refrain from the undue stress.