… We will always advocate the Rights of the Girl Child- Fr Anusi
In commemoration of the February 11 United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Engr Maryjane Oluchi Okoli, Pioneer Chairman, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Awka Chapter, has called on the international community, states and individuals to work together to ensure that the equality of women and girls in the sciences and other fields become a reality, report Mercy Hill, Alexander Johnson Adejoh, Precious Ukeje and Adejumoke Alebiosu.
Okoli, while speaking with Fides, said humanity had everything to gain if equality in the involvement of women and men in science was achieved, adding that APWEN was joining her voice to UNESCO in calling for equal participation of women and girls in science-related studies.
While noting that the outstanding achievements of women and girls in science would strengthen more girls to consider Engineering as a career, she disclosed that there were unique women who, despite all odds against them, had made excellent achievements just as their male counterparts in various fields of the Sciences, citing example with the Late Dora Akunyili, former Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC).
‘Culturally, it is a male-dominated space, but the women have carved a niche for themselves and have made tremendous achievements,’ Okolie said.
According to her, the day by day resolution of the United Nations was an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
She revealed that the association had lined up activities for the day, including visiting female nurses at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Awka, where they donated 100 units of towels to symbolize the association’s support for women fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking Further, Engr Nneka Ifeyinwa Ezeani, MNSE, chairman-elect, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Awka Chapter, disclosed that the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic had clearly demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19.
She however lamented that there still existed a significant gap in the number of girls in schools compared to that of boys, especially in many developing countries like Nigeria.
For his part, Rev Fr Dr Martin Anusi, Director, Fides Media, who applauded the efforts of women and girls in science, cited examples of what he termed distinguished women like Prof Rita Orji and Adeola Olubamiji, who, he said, had made global impact in the world of science.
The communication veteran pledged the company’s commitment to advocating for the rights of the girl child at all costs.