By Maudlyn Eduke
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri has urged women in the state not to be bound by societal limitations but should rise to their full potentials.
He stated this on Friday at the Empowerment and Social Celebration of the International Women’s Day at the Gabriel Okara’s Cultural Center in Yenagoa.
The event had as its theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” #choosetochallenge.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewrudjakpo noted that women should be given equal opportunities and rights as their male counterparts and not made to feel inferior.
He advised everyone to make the girl child in their homes feel as important as the boy child, stating that cultivating the right mentality in female children would help them navigate life confidently and achieve greater things.
On her part, the state First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Diri, said the well being of women and girls is very important to the present administration and that is evident in the recent signing into law of a bill which prohibits violence against women.
She lauded the efforts of everyone who had fought for the bill to see the light of day including all the men who saw it as an opportunity to protect their wives, mothers, sisters, aunts and daughters.
She said the law was necessary in the fight against gender based violence and she encouraged women to look out for their daughters as no amount of money would compensate for the trauma the child would face.
She said : “I sincerely appreciate the sacrifice and courage of all those who contributed and are still contributing to the socio-economic progress of women in the state and nation.
“We are excellent at multitasking, combining our work and home life but we should all endeavour to always be at par with our peers. If we work on ourselves we will do better than we have been doing in time past. As women, we ought to work with each other to get ahead.
“Women let us protect our daughters. No settlement is enough or would give her back what she has lost. We hope that one day we won’t have any records of rape in the state and we are working towards it.
“I choose to challenge. I choose to challenge backwards, gender inequality, illiteracy among women, poverty, I choose to challenge us women to greater heights”, she added.
The Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Faith Opuene said she was proud of what women in the state has achieved in recent times, especially in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.
She appreciated women who served in various capacities at the frontlines and expressed her conviction that women all over will come out stronger than ever before.
Highlights of the event were panel discussions and the performance of the state cultural troupe, showcasing the woman and her power to navigate life and still come out on top amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.