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NAWOJ Week/2024 IWD: Be Your Sister’s Keeper – Sonia Unobunjo Charges Nigerian Women

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NAWOJ Week/2024 IWD: Be Your Sister's Keeper - Sonia Unobunjo Charges Nigerian Women
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By Dorathy Uba

The 2024 International Women’s Day celebrated alongside the NAWOJ Delta Media Week was celebrated amidst pomp and pageantry.

Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Delta State Chapter, Comrade Sonia Unobunjo has said that women are the ones plotting the downfall of their fellow women and not men as being stipulated; adding that Women must make themselves available for inclusion and urged them to be their sisters’ keepers.

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Comrade Sonia stated this on Thursday, 21st March, while speaking at the NAWOJ Media Week/ 2024 International Women’s Day Celebration which took place at the NUJ Press Centre on Mariam Babangida Way, Asaba.

According to her, the two-day event slated for Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd March with the theme “Invest In Women: Accelerate Progress” according to the UN, was adopted to empower and celebrate the women journalists in Delta State on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

She however said that it was appalling for one to strategize for women inclusion, plan an event for women to brainstorm, interact and impact knowledge but women failed to turn up adding that there have been several calls to stand up for women yet, women do not stand up for themselves and as a result they are not included in the scheme of things.

The NAWOJ Delta Chairperson further said that women ought to sit back and do a rethink about this reoccurring situation which she described as a road trip to failure if women do not wake up from their slumber. She commended committed NAWOJians who had been there through thick and thin, members of the various women groups who find time to attend to women issues, urging them not to relent in the good works with diligence.

In her words, “United Nations is celebrating women but what about the women celebrating themselves? Where is the love for one another, where is the love you want to tell your fellow woman to reciprocate? You just need to wake up. This is a wake up call for all of us. It is just unfortunate that we don’t have most of us here but truth be told that we need to watch each other’s back. We need to be available to contribute to decision making process hence decision to exclude women will be taken on our behalf.

“Regardless of our men, women are the ones that are pulling women down and not men, it the women the men use to undo a fellow woman. I am appealing to you today, woman-to-woman, let women stop plotting the downfall of their fellow women but rather change such narrative to women canvassing, advocating and standing in for women with genuine minds to achieve success,” she said.

On her part, the Zonal Vice President of NAWOJ (Zone F), Mrs Stella Macaulay also enjoined women to ensure they push a better narrative in all that they do in their households, workplaces, business places or wherever they find themselves and learn to hold up the hands of the other person as they are better together so that they can work and achieve their goals.

Speaking on the 17th SDGs, (Building Partnership for Executive for Achieving the Goals), Mrs Macaulay, who is also the Coordinator, Stand Up For Women Society, Delta State Chapter said the organization has partner NAWOJ to ensure that they lend their voices to the international women’s day celebration.

She further advised women to be better mentors by passing down the knowledge and skills they have acquired unto their subordinates instead of hoarding it and not make the celebration an annual event where they can come and go but always take something away from every gathering to enhance themselves.

“This 2024 topic says: Women Inclusion: Accelerate Progress, so how do we become part and parcel of the system? In political sphere, we are wearing uniforms customized, we are outside singing, we are outside clapping, we are outside sharing rice, we are outside sharing one – one thousand, we are outside fighting and multiple decisions that would affect you and I are being taken in the upper chambers.

She said out of the 27 legislative members of the Delta State House of Assembly, there were just two women adding that it was a wake up call for all women to lend their voices for the women journalists to have the means of propagating the women gospel to push a better narrativie of the woman.

The Coordinator of Working Fingers International Organization, who is also a UN representative in Delta State, Mrs. Eris Ebi, while delivering her goodwill message revealed that the theme of the 2024 international women’s day as organized by the Delta State Ministry Women Affairs, “Count Her In: Accelerating Gender Equality Through Economic Empowerment” was a clarion call for more women to get involved in governance and be prepared to be involved in main leadership positions rather than fighting each other.

In her goodwill message the South South representative of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, MWAN, Doctor Urenma urged women to consciously take care of their mental health and be there for each other.

In his goodwill address, which he described as “Moving Forward at All Odds” Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, Comrade ChurchiIl Oyowe noted that he has always been a firm believer in the philosophy that only one person can change the world.

According to him, “If you are waiting for everybody to be carried along you will fail in your purpose in life. People want to see how well you can show determination to forged ahead so that they can tag along, you may not necessarily carry them along.

“Today, we have witnessed a huge success, I have been to other states, i have seen how women organized themselves and how men tagged on. I have seen comradeship in them. But what has happened here today shows that there is doggedness in the NAWOJ leadership led by Comrade Sonia Unobunjo; against all odds, we saw movement.

He charged the leadership of NAWOJ to keep the flag flying against all odds, even if she cannot walk, she should crawl forward with the mindset that everybody cannot walk with her at her pace. Hence, she should never allow her pace to die down but to continue to walk ahead so that others will see her progress and tag along.

The NAWOJ Media Week/International Women’s Day was classified into two parts -day one and two (Lectures, and Gala night), both of which were full of mind-blowing activities including paper presentations, skills acquisition for women empowerment, and a visit to the old childless old widows home, which was crowned with a dinner/gala night.

While the first day of the event was packed with lots of interesting activities including a symposium presented by Barr. Franca Eke (ACIARB) UK titled – The Woman Journalist: Competence and Questioning the Status Quo; and the other on Mental Health: Women, the Workplace and Society by Dr. Abigail Adinlofu who charged the women to eat healthy meals, light exercise, take time to rest, and take vacation.

The second half of the day was dedicated to Skills Acquisition for Women Empowerment (Hands on with Women), featuring basic tips on Makeup, Gele, Ankara notepads, Wall arts, Shoes, Beaded key holders, Puffs and Table mats.

Day two started with a visit to the Childless Old Widows Home at Ibusa, where food items , clothes and other materials were presented to the Widows.

Thereafter, a Dinner/Gala Night was held at the NUJ Press Centre as a crowning point of the NAWOJ Media Week/2024 IWD celebration.

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