A team of Nigerian women has declared that the country would continue to stumble until women were allowed to play active role in governance.
They said the country had not made significant progress owing to the sidelining of women in the affairs of the country.
Prof. Mrs. Uche Azikiwe, wife of Nigeria’s ex-President, Late Nnamdi Azikiwe and a former first lady of Ebonyi State, Mrs. Eunice Egwu both made the declaration on the sideline of the launching of Power Women Forum in Enugu.
Mrs. Azikiwe said the country was standing on one leg and would hardly make any movement under such condition.
The University don said it was regrettable that the men were still hiding under culture and traditions to relegate women to the background.
According to her, “Women should be allowed to play their role, their role is to help the men to rebuild the society in any form or shape.
“That is why I said other countries have found that women are agents for development, if you overlook the women and their contributions, you are going nowhere, it seems as as if you have two legs and you are running with just one; you won’t go anywhere.
“One leg is the male, the other leg is the female but in our society, it seems as if it is only one leg we are running with, that’s why we are where we are now.
“Any nation that realizes that women constitutes the other leg, you will see the impact, the country will grow and develop, it is my area sociology of education and gender studies; It has been proven that without women contributing, if you still believe in patriarchy, you are going nowhere.
“The patriarchy is still in men; it’s like some men are afraid of allowing women to come up; they feel a woman should not be competing with a man, I feel advocacy is needed, that please, men, we are not coming to compete, there is no way a woman can be a man, I have my role to play, due to biological parts, a man has his own role to play, but if it comes to development of the society, both of them should work together.
“There is need for advocacy which we can do through our traditional rulers, people need to come together to advance this course; to assist the women to play their role, everybody was born with a potential, God created all of us equal.
“I have never heard any research that say the brain of a man is bigger or smarter than that of a woman, it is the society that made the woman not to develop her potentials. Men hold grip of positions and they believe it is the best for the society.”
Similarly, Mrs. Egwu urged that more opportunities be given to the women.
“Nigerian women are already doing a lot; I will plead that more opportunities be given to them.
“I see there is an awakening, women are striving and trying to change their situation; there are more women professors now than before, more women PhD holders, more women entrepreneurs, we just wish that they can be given more opportunity to excel, and I know that women have been encouraging each other, more the time they say that women pull each other down, we have overcome that stage now.
“So many women do all manner of menial jobs to make sure that their children go to school, I just want to encourage them,” she stated.
Earlier, the convener of the Forum, Prof. Joy Onyesoh said the group had already “started on that path to ensure that women have a say in their lives and also in contributing to the development of the society.
“We want to build the capacity of women, we also do recognize that women have a lot of capacities, we want them to come together and share it.
“One of the major objectives of this Forum is to ensure that there is that platform for women, globally to exchange information, build their capacity and also to impact on their immediate society, helping women to realize and unleash their potentials irrespective of whatever barriers they face.
“Women already have the expertize, it is just for them to unleash it.”