The University of Uyo Women Association (UWA) has asked women to begin to speak up against injustice and bias meted out to their fellow women.
The President, UWA, and matron, Centre for Gender Studies, Mrs Uduakabasi Ndaeyo said for gender equality to be achieved, there was a need for women to break away from the bias of inequality.
Ndaeyo called on women to love themselves by supporting other women and speaking out against any sign of injustice meted out on any woman.
Speaking on Tuesday in Uyo during the grand finale of the International Women’s Day Celebration by the association, the president stated that the programme aimed at abrogating all forms of bias faced by women in society.
She called for a collective push and support for the academic and political advancement of women.
The keynote speaker, former Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Eunice Thomas said women’s demand for 50 per cent inclusion does not mean they were challenging the men, but that the men should complement the women in what they were doing.
She, however, warned that the 50 per cent demand would not be feasible if the women do not prove that they were important and ready to take responsibility.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Gender Board, Centre for Gender Studies, Prof. Comfort Etok, said the theme: “Gender Equality for Sustainable Tommorow”, signalled a clarion call for women to break bias in all fields of endeavour.
Etuk who said women were in a world where all forms of bias were prevalent, noted that they must be vanguards of breaking the bias.
“The continuous participation of women in global events such as this is a positive signal to the resolve to break the limitations to our recognitions, roles in nation-building and strides which had been underplayed.
“It is my greatest belief that until we put ourselves in the national and international pinnacles through robust advocacy, our salvation will continue to be farfetched.
“We are indeed the biblical lights which must be put on a bushel, else we shall be suffocated in the holes of obscurity which is never our place in destiny.
“The choice of the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” is very apt and appropriate to our situation. We live in a world replete with several bias: from the home to the office, church and community.
“Women must be seen to be at the vanguard of breaking every noticeable bias which has frustrated our participation in governance, opportunities for career advancement and capacity building initiatives wherever we find ourselves.
“The theme is therefore a clarion call for all women to rise up and break bias, prejudices and unfair treatments meted on them by society. Bias of uneven access to education, health, employment, economic resources, political representation etc.
“We must rise and condemn domestic violence, sexual harassment, child labour, child marriages etc.,” she stated.