AUTHORS: OKENU, DANIEL M. N. and OKENU, BUIHE P.
FROM: THE DIGNITY OF A FRENCH TEACHER: CELEBRATING PROF. JULIE AGBASIERE
The United Nations Decade for Women was a period of creating awareness and championing efforts to elevate the status of women all over the world. Emphasis was placed on total integration of women in all facets of life, particularly in national development. In Africa, the National Machinery for Women was established to sensitize women, train and prepare them to participate actively in the socio-economic, educational and political growth of the continent. The efforts and activities of the National Machinery led to the establishment of specific government Ministry to oversee and coordinate all women developmental issues. To signal their preparedness to increase women participation on national development, most African countries created a Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. Current review and assessment of the impact of the National Machinery on Women in Africa reveals a lot of successes, yet more should be done to continue on the audacious road of women emancipation and empowerment in the continent. There are still numerous economic, sociocultural, educational, and political structures that impede the full attainment of gender equity. The importance of women in society and national development underscores the urgent need to give full autonomy and needed resources to the National Machinery for Women, and to engender governments’ commitment in our collective quest to bridge the gender gap in Africa, and indeed the world at large.
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