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Intl. Women’s Day: Seadogs Call For Women Empowerment, Inclusion In Dev. Efforts

The National Association of Seadogs, popularly known as Pyrates Confraternity (Atlantic Shores Deck—Eket Chapter), in commemoration of International Women’s Day, has made a passionate appeal to the Akwa Ibom State Government and all other development partners to inspire inclusion and invest more in the empowerment and development of women.

According to them, it will accelerate progress and boost the equitable and sustainable development of the state.

The group, in a press statement endorsed by Utibe Ikot, Captain, National Association of Seadogs Atlantic Shores Deck (Eket Chapter) and made available to journalists in Uyo on Friday, maintained that the campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024, “Inspire inclusion,” emphasises the importance of appreciating and respecting women from diverse backgrounds.

They further highlighted, “It underscores the notion that when women are valued and accepted regardless of their origins, financial status, or political beliefs, it enriches the entire society. Creating an environment where women feel a sense of belonging and significance not only enhances their strength and empowerment but also fosters greater unity and progress for all.”

They averred, “Under this, the National Association of Seadogs, which is committed to the entrenchment of a just and egalitarian society where human dignity is upheld, irrespective of tribe, religion, or gender, is calling on the government of Akwa Ibom State, development partners, community leaders, religious leaders, and the entire populace to embrace a gender-equal Akwa Ibom State, a state free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; a state that is equitable and inclusive; a state where women are valued and celebrated.”

Read Also: Int’l Women’s Day: Rotary Club Extends Succour, Love to Women

The group lamented, “The persistence of gender inequality and discrimination faced by women remains a critical and pervasive issue that hinders progress towards achieving gender equality. Despite significant advancements in women’s rights and empowerment, women continue to experience systemic barriers and biases that limit their opportunities and full participation in various aspects of society.

“Women are continually confronted by unequal access to education and healthcare; disparities in political governance and employment opportunities; rape, sexual abuse, harassment in the workplace, and other forms of gender-based violence, all of which are rooted in deep-seated social norms, cultural practices, and institutionalised discrimination.”

They added, “Addressing the complex and entrenched nature of gender inequality, therefore, requires concerted efforts to challenge discriminatory norms, enact and enforce gender-sensitive policies, promote women’s leadership and decision-making roles, and foster inclusive environments that value and respect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of gender.

“Only through collective action and sustained advocacy can we dismantle the structural barriers that perpetuate gender inequality and create a more equitable and just world for women and girls everywhere.

“To this end, we urge the state government to invest more in programmes that support inclusive governance opportunities, women’s education, healthcare, female entrepreneurship, resilience and risk reduction, access to clean and potable water, menstrual hygiene for vulnerable women and girls, support in crisis, mentoring, and local impact. By providing women with these opportunities and resources, we can ensure a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

“The people of Akwa Ibom are also encouraged to support and participate in initiatives that promote gender equality. We all need to work together to create an environment where women can thrive and contribute to their fullest potential.
To achieve these, there is a crucial need for all parties to help forge a gender-equal state by challenging gender stereotypes, discrimination, and biases and inspiring inclusion by increasing awareness.

“The public, especially the younger generation, also needs to be conscious of the imperatives of an equitable society where women have access to equal opportunities. The educational and economic empowerment of women often creates ripple effects that positively affect communities in bigger and more endearing ways.

“The United Nations has been consistent in pursuing the gender equality and empowerment agenda, and Goal 5 of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

They added, “Empowering women is a critical component of achieving gender equality and includes establishing deliberate intents and conscious efforts at increasing women’s sense of self-worth, their decision-making ability, their access to opportunities and resources, removing inhibitions that limit their progress, and their ability to effect change in their community and beyond.”

“On this International Women’s Day, the National Association of Seadogs, Atlantic Shores Deck (Eket Chapter) salutes the courage, resilience, and achievements of the Akwa Ibom women and pays glowing tributes to their industry, hard work, and pivotal role in building not just homes but the entire state.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is commemorated globally on the 8th of March, annually, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women while also serving as a call to action for gender equality, raising awareness about discrimination, advocating for positive change, lobbying for accelerated gender parity, and fundraising for female-focused initiatives.

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