(Office of the First Lady) – The Wife of Nigerian President, who is the President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame Patience Jonathan has in her message to mark this year’s International Women’s Day said that the time has come to further strengthen and broaden the opportunities available to women for rapid national transformation.
She further indicated that women empowerment and gender equity must be given priority in order to achieve sustainable development. According to her, “Now is the time to listen to the voices of women, to fully engage them and to make women’s empowerment and gender equity a priority.”
Patience Jonathan expressed enthusiasm for the theme of the 2014 edition of the International Women’s Day tagged: “Equality for Women is Progress for All,” describing it as fitting as it draws awareness to the importance of women and gender inclusion. She iterated the need to promote and sustain the tempo of socio-economic and political inclusions for women, to enable them contribute their quota meaningfully to the Transformation Agenda of Government.
According to the First Lady, investing in women and the girl-child is an imperative as empowering women and girls would enable them reach their full potentials as well as enhance sustainable development.
While felicitating with all women across the globe, the First Lady called on the men to also celebrate the spirit and strength of women. She stated that the continuous strides and achievements which women make each day in their communities and beyond should be appreciated and applauded; especially as the world marks the International Women’s Day. She however cautioned that the day should also serve as a reminder that much more needs to be done to overcome the discrimination, challenges and barriers that confront women because of their gender.
The President’s wife said that she is a passionate advocate of gender inclusion and pledged to work continuously with other African First Ladies across the continent to promote gender equity as the President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
“March 8 in every year is observed and celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. The day highlights the growth and achievements of women in the developed and developing world,” she informed.
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