The annual commemoration of International Women’s Day, presents an opportunity for us to salute the singular achievements of our women, in all spheres of national life. While a day such as this, represents but a mere token of appreciation for the significant extent of our women’s daily contributions; it allows us to pay tribute to them in a special way.
Many of our women are called upon to bear a disproportionate share of the responsibilities within the home – responsibilities with which our men should be charged. Despite the challenges that prevail, our women have ‘shouldered’ the burdens with great resilience and dignity; and many of the successes that we claim toady, must be credited to our mothers, grandmothers, wives, aunts and sisters. However, in spite of these achievements, our nation is confronted by an escalating crime rate, with our young males being the main perpetrators. The blame for the dilemma of our young men, is placed squarely at the ‘feet’ of absentee fathers. This highlights the need for partnership between our men and women, in creating a wholesome and productive environment for our children.
The challenges confronting our women are not limited within the walls of the home, but extend to the work environment as well. Discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, are other issues with which our women wrestle; many times having to work twice as hard, for a portion of the pay of their male counterparts. These ‘pockets’ of imbalances and discrimination must be eliminated; and the worth of our women must be fully recognized and appreciated.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us not merely give ‘lip service’ to the critical issues that impact the lives of our women; but resolve to do all we can in tackling these problems that affect their daily lives. The obstacles and problems that confront our women are indeed great – but they are resilient and strong – but in spite of this display of strength, let us cherish and protect them.
The Bureau of Women’s Affairs, also marks the significant milestone of its thirty-fifth (35th) Anniversary; and must receive the highest commendation for its unstinting work over these years. The Government is committed to collaborating with agencies such as the Bureau, in order to further advance and protect the rights of our women.

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