All over the world there was a cry for gender equality on March 8, 2020. The international Women’s day. Several events were put together to drive home the point.
Felicity Amure is an entrepreneur based in Port Harcourt, located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She also has a passion for women, always wanting to see them empowered. The IWD is a day when she brings like minded women together to celebrate themselves, share ideas and network.
Ibiene caught up with her in a bid to find out what her passion is about women.
Ibiene: Please define womanhood from your perspective?
Felicity: Womanhood is the state of being a woman. This has to do with the unique qualities that make us who we are. The quality of being an emotional creature who has a lot of responsibilities. The quality of being strong and yet referred to as the weaker sex. The quality of being able to multi-task. It is the embodiment of all these and more in a female.
Ibiene: You put together an event to commorate the 2020 International Women’s Day. Please share with us why you are doing this?
Felicity: Women have been relegated to the background for far too long a time. We believe it’s a day that the World has set aside to celebrate women everywhere. Women are really the bedrock on which society is built. Every member of society is here today because of a woman. She gives birth to the society so to say.
We celebrate women for their various roles in the upliftment of society. The world would really be a bleak place without the Woman. Every other day the spotlight is focused mainly on the men. I believe that its great to have at least one day to focus on women – our victories, our challenges, our triumphs, our futures. I celebrate women all over the world!
Ibiene: What rules against women do you wish to see broken in your generation?
Felicity: would say the most important thing I want broken is not really a rule. I just want to “glass ceiling” broken. The glass ceiling is a pervasive imaginary ceiling that prevents women from going beyond certain levels in senior management in Corporations and also keeps them out of key positions in governance and politics. Positions such as President, Prime Minister, Governor should not be the exclusive preserve of men.
Women can do a great job in such roles. The family is the smallest basic unit of society. If women play such a great role in making sure the family unit is fully functional to produce healthy, well balanced children for the benefit if society.
It is easy to believe they would do an even greater job in making sure the world as a whole is a better place for all..
Women have a greater contribution to make to the good of society as a whole. We should be given the opportunities to make these contributions.
Ibiene: The theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” How much progress has been made in this side of the world and what solutions can you proffer to make equality a reality?
Felicity: I would say a whole lot of progress. Like Virginia Slims used to say, “We’ve come a long way baby”. But the truth is, there’s even a longer way to go. What lies ahead is a tougher and an even more difficult road to tread. But it can be done. A lot still needs to be done till we get to the promised land. We have to go beyond talk. Talk in this instance is really cheap. We need voices, we need faces, we need representation. We need to change the narrative. We need our stories told in our own voices. We don’t want to shut any body up, we just want to be heard. We need things like verbal, emotional and physical abuse to end. We need voilence against women eradicated. We need women to stop being the victims in society. We need female Governors, female Senators, female legislators, female judges female Presidents. Female bank MD’s and CEO’s. Female Entrepreneurs, female Inspector General of Police. We need women in ground breaking positions…
What can be done? What I believe can be done has to be done early. From the home and school, women are assigned some roles. These roles tend to be subtly subordinate roles. Learning to cook and clean etc. I believe women should be brought up to believe they can achieve anything in life they set their minds to be President, MD, CEO etc. Why grow up believing you can be cabin crew,why not be the pilot?
Ibiene: How would you hope men support the drive for equality and respect for women’s rights?
Felicity: Equality starts at home at a young age. Fathers have a great responsibilty here. They have to make sure it can be seen clearly tbat there is gender equality growing up. Boys and girls should be treated the same way at home.
As children we are blank slates. Our parents and society write on us. What they write become our reality many years later. If they write falsehoods, prejudices and bigotry that becomes our life until we are able to discern it and change it. If they write the truth and leave us without prejudices we are better equipped to face the world and seek to change it for better.
Felicity is a wife, mother, business owner, mentor and gender equality advocate.