Equity and empowerment
My personal vision for life is that women and girls experience equity and empowerment in all aspects of life. I envision a society that accords men and women equal rights, where women are not treated as a minority but given same privilege as the male folks.
I will like to take a moment to relate my vision to the effect of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on gender. MDGs is a good initiative that is geared towards improving the economic and social living standards of developing countries globally, by eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empower women, improve maternal mortality, combating HIV/AIDS etc. before 2015. However, the question I ask today is to what extent has the MDGs improved the lot of women and reduced gender inequality? Women always tend to be the ones to bear the brunt of the fall out in the implementation of these goals. For example:
In poor and developing countries like Nigeria, Poverty can be better combated when gender disparity in primary and secondary education are eliminated. Women and girls consist of the greater percentage of the total population and also those that drop out of school due to cultural discrimination of the preference of boys being educated than the girls who may be married off at an early age in some part of Nigeria, poor sanitary facilities in school hinder the attendance of girls during the period of their menstrual cycle. Access to good education will help women secure sustainable decent employment which will better empower them to vie for leadership positions and be part of the decision making process in their communities. This will ultimately help eradicate poverty.
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS affects women more because they are mostly the victim of rapes and most often they are unable to negotiate safe sex with partners. Social inequalities often make these women economically dependent on the men to survive. Little or no access to medical care is also a factor that contributes to the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in women, difficult access to anti-retroviral drugs as well as discrimination and stigmatization is a problem that still plagues developing countries and requires urgent attention.
I would like to be a voice of correspondence using world pulse as a platform to communicate, build my advocacy capacity and also learn from other members of the world pulse community. The ideas and solutions generated here will be a good source of information that can be disseminated to women within my community via mediums like one on one communication, email messages and use of networking social media tools like facebook, twitter etc. I believe information is power and an essential ingredient for change. When women are better informed on issues that pertain to their human rights and have access to resource materials that can help build their capacity and knowledge on how to advocate for justice when their rights are violated. Awareness on these issues is made know to other women who will in turn circulate it in their community. All these are geared towards empowering women, giving them equal rights in our society.