EZINNE ARUA: In the Spirit of Gender Parity


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"Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.


Today is International Women's Day. International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

Last year the campaign theme is #BeBoldForChange. This year the theme is on #PressForProgress and the focus is on Gender Parity. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day.

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Now there have been a whole lot of hue and cry about #wifenotcook and #husbandnotatm jisienu ike. I am befuddled to think that this shallow feminist ideology can sprout from Society. I am indeed concerned about the growing number of *online feminists* who don't even have the slightest clue of what feminism is all about.

The ten International Women's Day values are: Justice, Dignity, Hope, Equality, Collaboration, Tenacity, Appreciation, Respect, Empathy, Forgiveness When women forget that they are co-operators, collaborators, companions and not competitors or contenders then the concept of being feminine and indeed being a womanist becomes even more Understanding.

I love and respect in fact I adore women because without them, I doubt if I would have attained some heights. I have been blessed with amazing women who have shared their understanding of the concept of *"Help Meet"* with me. Today I Celebrate them!

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Being Bold for change and Pressing for Progress implies understanding the complexities of what makes you a woman. It is imperative that many of our young ladies understand what it means to be a woman. We grew up knowing that women are natural caregivers, managers and they provide solid foundation so right from a tender age, they deserve a level playing ground.

Today, I am yielding my space to Ezinne Arua. She shares goes down memory lane and shares with us a fine experience.



Peace over Drama. To every woman who makes the world peaceful what could we do without you. To those who add Drama, You still spice up our lives.   To the men we are grateful to life's Drama and Peace .  – Charles Umeh

I went to an all-girls secondary school. It was a Community of young girls who were loved and valued enough by their parents and were given the opportunity to strive, to horn their potentials and to make the most of them. There, I saw young girls show intelligence, aspire, dream, work hard, strive, thrive and shine without being placed at par with boys. I consider this “lack of equation” a sheer act of parity.

We were raised to be young girls who were striving to succeed, not to like boys, but striving in our own rights and aspiration. We were given opportunities, not equal opportunities (not unequal opportunities either). And we made the most of it.

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Today, many of us have recorded and achieved “disgendered” successes. We have become things anybody can be, irrespective of whether or not you are a born or girl.  That is sheer parity.

Maybe I was born into a circle that girls do not have to strive to be accorded equal opportunities. But I am not blinded to the reality that there is whole world of young girls who do not know that they (too) have the right and ability to dream and to attain great heights. I know there exist girls who are made to believe that the most of their attainment in life will be to get married (with or without their consent) and to bear children.

This 2018 International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the successes of women who have reached pinnacles, encourage the strive of those still climbing the ladder, and to uplift those at the base who are yet to dream, yet to begin the climb and yet to know that they (too) can.

In the spirit of gender parity, we must hold one another- both men and women alike. Encourage one another and help one another. The generation of women before us cleared the frontiers; it’s up to us to advance it. It is up to us to make opportunities for girls to transcend beyond economic class, tribe, region, and race.

With parity, we would see more girls in school, more women in leadership positions, more women Entrepreneurs, more women in Science and Research. All these would in no small measure make our world a better place.

Gender parity in all of its beauty is a good thing, but we must aspire beyond it. That will be better. For when our prime goes becomes equality, and we achieve it, we all will still be burgled with problems affecting both sexes. Issues such as crime, war, communal crisis, corruption, climate change, famine, etc. In light of this, it is important that we aspire together, beyond parity towards peace, partnership and progress.

Today as an International Day for women goes beyond the aspirations of the girl-child but also includes the balance of the realities of the grown woman. Every girl will become a woman, so it is right to evaluate the prospects of womanhood in our world today. We have come far, far from our grandmothers who grinded  stones on their knees. They must be proud of the women we have become today. As they see in us things they saw in their sons. Things their husbands-our grandfathers thought only their sons.

As we press for progress, may our granddaughters become far better women than we are today. May they break new grounds that we cannot even imagine from the height we have attained today.

While pressing for progress, it is imperative that we help each other succeed. For every woman or girl that holds success as an aspiration, it is upon us all to help her bridge the gap.

We can be each other’s heels. On heels we stand tall, taller and prettier, even with all the discomfort it may bring.

Arua Ezinne Celine.

Female. Psychologist. Writer.

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