It is an annual event marked on 8th of March to commemorate the struggle of women globally in the quest for gender equality and acknowledgement of rights and potential to contribute to development.
The theme for this year’s celebration, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing women’s Right” is to access the progress made by member countries of the United Nations in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and inequalities against women.
The focus for this year’s celebration is to reflect on the areas where achievements have been made in realizing women’s and girls’ rights and to recognize the gaps that exist in other areas that need further action.
In her statement for International Women’s Day, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka highlights 2020 as the year for gender equality and calls on everyone to tackle the persistent barriers against gender equality.
According to the UN Country Representative to Nigeria and Ecowas, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, Nigeria among 131 countries had made some progress in the area ratifying treaties that removed discriminatory laws against women.
She however noted more actions needed to be driven in other areas such as ensuring women’s rights to equal pay and equal representation in parliament.
For the Sweden Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Carl Miceal-Grans, the economic implication of denying women’s rights to equal participation was enormous as the potential of more than half of the population is under-unutilized.
The Minister of women Affair, Dame Pauline Tallen pointed out that education of the girl child and the empowerment of women remained fundamental in realizing the rights of women.
While expressing hope for the Nigerian women, the permanent secretary of the ministry of women affairs, Mrs. Ifoema Anagbugu said that the country was gradually making progress in giving women a voice.
The year’s celebration also marks 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and platform for Action which is still a progressive document on guideline for the empowerment of women and girls globally.