The 2013 International Women’s Day celebration in Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) was rounded off recently with the conferment of awards on eight distinguished women in the institution and presentation of wheel chairs to 20 physically challenged persons.
In his opening address the chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka noted that the Women’s Day was worth celebrating with women occupying distinguished positions as board chairpersons, vice chancellors, and prime ministers although he acknowledged that they were not yet enough to justify their quota.
He frowned at the de-humanization of women through rape, genital mutilation, choice of spouses for women and other such anti-women measures as, he however, hailed them for fighting against such as a group.
In her remark, the Director, Centre for Women, Gender and Development Studies, Dr. Ihuoma P. Asiabaka noted that despite efforts aimed as achieving the Third Millennium Development Goal, women’s equality with men is yet to be realized. She challenged men to co-operate in this direction.
Speaking also, the Imo State First Lady Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, went biblical arguing that God balanced the equation of man and woman at creation but that man changed it. She called on the government to ensure that women are given their rightful positions in the scheme of things without waiting for the year 2020.
In her paper, the Vice Chancellor of Benue State University, Prof. Charity A. Angya, called on government to reinforce the gender affirmative action through legislation to enhance gender equality and women empowerment in the context of national development.
She contended that the 1995 Beiging Declaration on women empowerment has not been implemented notwithstanding that women form greater percentage of the population.
Among those who received awards on the occasion were Prof. Mrs Rose Nwabueze, Prof. Comfort Chukwuezi, Prof. Harriet Nwaigwe, Engr. Kechiyere Oyoh, Engr. Prof. Gloria Chukwudebe, Rev. Sister(Prof. ) Evangeline Tochi Oparaocha, Prof.(Mrs) Nnenna Oti and Prof. Uche Emetaram.