Nigerians on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to celebrate 2018 International Women's Day with many sharing messages with the hashtag #IWD2018 and "Press For Progress" as the theme.
Each year, International Women's Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution of women to society and the work that has gone towards the cause of gender equality since the first observance of a Women's Day in NY in 1909.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women is a priority for Government. Today, we have 23 per cent female representation as against zero per cent representation in 2016.
Last year Iceland, which consistently ranks as the number one country for gender equality, became the first country in the world to require firms to prove what action is being taken to achieve equal pay.
"The scope of women's day celebration cannot be precisely defined as the deeds done by women can never be summed up". Recently, people have expanded it to express their gratefulness and respect for the women around them.
Let's celebrate this day by giving recognition to the role of women in society, and highlighting opportunities for the often untapped potential of women to the socio-economic agenda and their competence as leaders.
These developments and others give this year's observance of International Women's Day (IWD) more meaning.
The Bring Back Our Girls #BBOG movement in Nigeria also seized the opportunity of the Women's Day to urge government to intensify its efforts in ensuring the release of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls and recently kidnapped 110 Dapchi girls-pupils.
According to the World Economic Forum, equality right now is actually in retreat, and it will take another century for both genders to stand on equal footing. They carried placards reading "Unite against violence against women", "Man enough to say no to domestic abuse" and "my body, my choice".
We need to talk about how we must do more to help girls and young women rebel against the pressures that society places on them.
"This has worked in other countries and we believe it will have a significant impact in driving down the gender pay gap here, by shining the spotlight on any gender based pay discrepancies and enabling companies to address and remedy such inequalities where they exist. You already have indexes so you can invest in companies that are leading by women or have more women on their board of directors, so I'm quite sure that is the route we'll go down".
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