A call has been made to all women around the world to rise and challenge gender discrimination, bias, inequality, and stereotype against women in society.
This was made known during a webinar session organized by Brand Spur in commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day with the theme: #ChooseToChallenge which took place on March 8th, 2021.
The 2021 IWD tagged #ChooseToChallenge is aimed at challenging all forms of biases against women, gender discrimination, celebrate women’s achievements, and taking action for equality.
The guest speaker at the webinar, Omolara Adeogo, Coach/Trainer, Boss Management Hub and Qualitative Research Project Manager in Kantar, the world’s leading market research company said by challenging the status quo in society, we promote inclusiveness and make the world a better place adding that a challenged world is an alert world.
In her words, “Often times when we say the word equality, people have the notion or impression that what we are saying is that we want to be like men but it’s about providing equal opportunities, equal resources to be whoever we want to be, to do whatever it is we want to do as women and there shouldn’t be any limitation and that itself is empowerment.”
Omolara added that discrimination and bias against women have been putting women at a disadvantage which should have been an equal right for both genders. According to her, every woman should be given the right to vote, the right to run for elective office, fair remuneration, the right to education and more.
She frowned at the form of discrimination affecting women around the world which include denial of female children’s right to access formal education in some part of Northern Nigeria, the inability of Igbo women to inherit property from their fathers, female genital mutilation.
The inability of women to testify in court and more. “If we don’t challenge these things, they will affect the world. It’s a journey we need to be consistent about”. She said. Though this discrimination exists in society, Omolara, however, challenged women to be more competent and work on adding value in their workplace or in their business, thereby making a significant difference.
She added that women can make a difference by improving their competencies at the workplace or in business by speaking out to be heard at the workplace and never stay silent in meetings as their opinions matter as employees, flexible to open evaluation and educate their minds.
Asked whether there have been changes in gender discrimination in the past few years, Omolara added that there have been changes but, there is still a need for improvements.
“It is a journey, if there are no changes, the likes of Ibukun Awosika would probably not be chairman of First Bank and we even have a current chairman for Access Bank and others. There is progress, there are changes happening, but we need to continue as employees because if you know better you do better.”
She also called for more women supporting women in the workplace and challenging the biases, stereotypes, and discrimination against women.
International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender bias, reproductive rights, and violence against women.