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Gender equality advocate makes case for women in military

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By Cyril Mbah, Abuja

An advocate of gender equality, Professor Ocholi Ekundayo has suggested that more opportunities should be provided for Nigerian women to assume more strategic responsibilities and climb higher in the ranks of the nation’s security survives.

Ekundayo, who spoke with newsmen shortly after a workshop on gender equality, organised by the faculty of education at the University of Abuja, decried the situation where women are relegated to the background just because of their difference.

She emphasised that women can do whatever men are capable of doing and cited the exemplary performance of female soldiers in Borno state as a good example that women are “a fearless and hardworking species of human beings.”

Ekundayo remarked that the outstanding courage of women at the theatre of battle in Borno state compelled the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, to also suggest that more women should be drafted into combat to maintain peace.

She said that the gross marginalisation of Nigerian women was more pronounced especially in politics, citing the Kogi state governorship election where a prominent female candidate was prevented from freely carrying out her mobilisation programmes. She said that was a typical case of men relegating women and suppressing them because of their gender.

“It is sad that even in the present level of advancement in the world, people still believe that women should be relegated to the background and excluded from several opportunities that would have challenged their potentials, their creativity and enhance their skills.”

On why the workshop on gender equality was organised by the university, she said it was meant to expose female students interested in serving in any of the nation’s security formations to learn more about the services, the  opportunities available for women and the operational models of each branch of the armed services.

Resource persons at the event were drawn from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Nigeria Immigration Services, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps [NSCDC].

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