Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says his administration will widening opportunities for women to participate in governance in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made the assertion at the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, on Tuesday in Ikeja.
Theme of 2021 IWD is: “Women in Leadership: Achieving An Equal Future In A COVID-19 World”, and the slogan is “Choose To Challenge”.
The governor said that issues concerning women and youths had remained on the priority list of the state government since inception of his administration.
According to him, women play vital roles in the development of any society, and what the society stands to lose by denying them the opportunity to actualise their potential.
He called on all women to continue to amplify their voices in their quest for gender equality and desire to occupy more space in leadership at the very top.
“Challenging stereotypes, eradicating bias views and widening your perceptions are vital to an equal and enabled world.
“Given the opportunity and support, there is no limit to what a woman can achieve.
“I enjoin my fellow men in Lagos State to continue to support, love, respect, value and cherish our women. Let us allow them more room at the very top.
“I believe very strongly that investing in women is good investment that would yield multiple returns for the benefit of the society now and in the future.
“I congratulate all our women on this occasion and reiterate our commitment to promoting gender equality and widening opportunities for women in governance,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Also, his wife, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that theme of the event was very apt, considering the vital role women, all over the world, had been playing since outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Sanwo-Olu, who is the Chief Host, said there was a very large room at the top for women in Lagos, Nigeria, and all over the world to improve.
She commended the courage of female caregivers, frontline medical practitioners, female activists and political leaders, who responded and worked day and night to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, lots of women are at risk while also dealing with various types of Gender Based Violence, particularly rape, which is largely referred to as a pandemic within the pandemic.
She said that in spite of the doggedness and efforts of women to end COVID-19, the issue of inequalities was still very prevalent in most climes.
Sanwo-Olu urged every woman to take their individual and collective destinies in their hands.
“Women still face significant cultural, socioeconomic and political barriers to accessing leadership.
“Let us not stop at talk the talk; it is time to time to walk the walk. It is time to think big and aim high.
“It is time to challenge ourselves, like the media slogan for 2021 International Women Day says #choose to challenge,” she said.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Cecilia Bolaji Dada, urged women in Lagos State, Nigeria and all over the world to continue to strive for the top.
Dada said that leadership position was never given on a platter of Gold, as it was something that women must work extra hard to attain.