Wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, has lauded the global movement for women empowerment but has kicked against fighting men to attain such goal.
She said men must be seen as partners instead of competitors “in the struggle” to give women an equal opportunity.
Speaking at the Global Women’s Empowerment event in Philadelphia in the US on Saturday Mrs Bawumia called on women to stay united with a common front in the fight for gender parity.
However, she warned against the approach since that can make or unmake the struggle a reality.
“In all of this, let us be mindful of our approach,” the Second Lady advised women.
She added, “the quest for women empowerment should not be a war against men. It should not be a competition among women. We stand to win and gain when we work together. Let us see one another as partners in the struggle and not competitors for superiority.”
Mrs Bawumia also noted that women can make a meaningful contribution to the empowerment drive if they strive at occupying strategic positions in society.
“I will also encourage my colleague women to take up positions of influence where ever you find yourselves. If an opportunity to serve in a public office avails itself, let us grab it and help to shape policy and influence decisions that affect us,” she opined.
Mrs Bawumia encouraged women who have broken the glass ceiling to open doors for young females by serving as role models.
“We cannot talk about women empowerment without emphasizing the invaluable roles of women in industry, the women breaking the barriers in business and entrepreneurship. Women who are economically empowered are in a better position to implement the lofty ideals we espouse about women empowerment.
“I, therefore, urge our distinguished female business executives here present to serve as ambassadors of global change and role models for young women. Use your influence and resources to support policies and agenda that are aimed at lifting up women.
"In your own way, look out for one another, stand by one another and let us dispel the dangerous notion that women are their own enemies. We are stronger when we achieve the critical mass in politics, industry and every worthy sphere of human endeavour.
"Let us make the deliberate effort to look out for talented young women who have the potential to rise to the top. Let us serve as their mentors and provide them with the encouragement not to give up on their dreams,” she emphasised.
“Let us work together to ensure peace and stability of our nations, knowing that girls and women are the worst affected in case of conflicts or social upheavals.
"Apart from the harrowing stories of sexual violence and the use of women as sex slaves, we are vulnerable in several other ways. Let us not focus only on sermonizing about women’s rights and ignore our participation in leadership and decision making.
“If we have the opportunities, let’s grab them and strengthen the pillars of democracy. Women empowerment should be approached holistically; and with deliberate and sustained effort, we shall celebrate successes day after day no matter how moderate they are, until when we can look back and confidently declare that all women are able to express themselves freely and achieve their dreams,” Mrs. Bawumia stated.
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