Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), an occasion which has been celebrated in honour of wom­en for over a century now.

Its genesis is connected to National Women’s Day which was first celebrated in February 1909 in the United States after which the Second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At that conference, a wom­en’s rights activist, Clara Zetkin, called for an inter­national women’s day to give women greater voice to further their demands for equal rights.

Zetkin’s call was unanimous­ly upheld and the day was first marked in March 1911 and the March 8 date fixed in 1913 to be marked annually, with the UN celebrating it for the first time in 1975.

From time immemorial and across all societies women have been suffering bias, ste­reotypes and discrimination.

This state of affairs makes women find themselves suffering inequality which is attributed to their gender as females.

Women always imagine a gender-equal world, and so they are calling for that world free of bias, stereo­types, and discrimination, a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive and one where difference is valued and celebrated.

Therefore, IWD is meant to celebrate wom­en’s achievement; raise awareness about the discrimination against them and call for action to ensure gender parity.

Various events are organised in individual countries to mark the day, all in the name of calling attention to the need to end all manner of discrimination against women.

Our editorial today is dedicated to that cause and it is our contribution to raising that awareness and appealing to govern­ments across the globe to see the women’s demand as appropriate because its fulfilment can enhance the wellbeing and welfare of women, with the impact being beneficial to families and the countries.

Unless society wants to ignore the reality, there should be no dispute that the survival of every soci­ety depends on women.

Besides being vessels that bring young humans into the earth for genera­tions to come after others, they are home keepers and care-givers.

The roles played by women to make life mean­ingful and enjoyable for others are significant.

However, for their na­ture as the weaker vessels, males especially take them for granted to the extent that in a misogynistic or male-chauvin­ist society, they suffer hatred, contempt or prejudice which usually stops them from achiev­ing their potential and so play second fiddle to men for life.

Even though females normal­ly cannot equal males in phys­ical strength and related tasks, countless females match males in certain endeavours and even beat them in some.

That is to say that if females are given the opportunity, they can become giants in many fields of endeavour and bring numerous benefits for their per­sonal development, that of their families and communities and the country as a whole.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, we would like to quote the universal­ly-popular saying by Dr Kwe­gyir Aggrey to drum home the impact of women’s progress on society everywhere: “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Happy International Women’s Day to all women.

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