AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HER EXCELLENCY, BARR. CHIOMA UZODIMMA, THE WIFE OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF IMO STATE AT A CONFERENCE MARKING THE ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2021 AT THE IMO CONCORDE HOTEL, OWERRI
The International Women's Day is an annual celebration which has spanned over a century - an event which celebrates women & their achievements, highlighting their efforts around the world to address issues of gender inequality, all forms of biases, stigma, discriminations, stereotypes, violence against women, etc. And to champion a peaceful and sustainable future with equal rights, inclusiveness and opportunities for all.
The UN's General Assembly declared that the aim of the celebration is to recognize the fact that securing peace, social progress, the enforcement of human rights and fundamental freedom requires the active participation and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.
In order for us to do justice to the message, as contained in the campaign theme of the International Women's Day 2021, we must #ChooseToChallenge the limits, labels and inequality placed on our women and girls, for a challenged world is a world prepared to forge a gender-equal world and celebrate the social, cultural, economic, political and other achievements of our women across the globe, no matter how little.
"Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World" - the theme for this year's celebration is instructive, and goes further to buttress the campaign theme. The social and economic realities of the novel Coronavirus have further deepened the wide inequality gulf, amplifying the inequalities women face every day.
However, I salute the work of our women within the various institutions and organizations in showing leadership and diminishing sundry equalities. To this end, it is important to highlight that women’s voices and experiences are central to national and global recovery plans.
Today, we must all raise our hand, strongly, to show our decision and commitment to challenge the biases and stereotypic status-quos, raise each other up to help create a more inclusive world where there is no limit to what empowered women can be and achieve.
I hereby CHOOSE TO CHALLENGE!
Happy International Women's Day (IWD) Celebrations!!!
H.E. Barr. (Mrs) Chioma Uzodimma
First Lady, Imo State