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Uniformed Women Celebrate 2024 International Women’s Day

“We thought it wise to bring all the women in uniform together…to come speak to us and tell us how they made it.”

Celebrated annually on March 8, the International Women’s Day honours the achievements of women, confronts gender biases, and serves as a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

This year, uniformed Nigerian women are also celebrating IWD 2024 at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Ikeja, courtesy of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos state. It has the theme “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”.

The Deputy Corps Commander and Chairperson, Women in Uniform, Emma Fekoya joined ARISE NEWS in an interview to discuss the forum planned for this year’s International Women’s Day.

Fekoya said that the forum organized by the FRSC, was born from the need to invest knowledge in women, and help them make progress, seeing as women are now taking on lead roles in the society.

“We’ve discovered that at the pace and where things are going, there’s a need to invest more in women, because women are coming up front now. For us in FRSC, using the platform of the International Woman’s Day, we thought it wise to bring all the women in uniform together, bring also heads, women that have achieved leadership in one way or the other, to come speak to us and tell us how they made it, how they’re making it and how they intend to forge ahead. In that, they are investing their knowledge in us to help us also in our place of progress.”

She however mentioned that though the annual celebration of women in uniform usually follows the theme of the United Nations, their purpose of coming together is not to “form the issue of women equality”.

She said the primary aim of bringing women in uniform together, is to pass on knowledge to these women and help them understand how they can balance their different roles.

“We are here because you need to be knowledgeable. You need to understand yourself. You need to accept who you are with your different roles and how you can fit in. Women are nowhere because a lot of people don’t even have an understanding of themselves, the ability to combine all those roles together with the task ahead. So our coming together is to cause an eye opener for each and every one of us. I know in the future, the discrimination with men discriminating women will phase out when you have women who can stand on their feet and compete. It’s a thing of time.

Speaking on the event planned for today, she said it would be a fun event, assuring that although it is focused on the women, the men are not left out.

“We have music, food, everything. You could come around. It’s all there. Make your choice. It’s to spoil the women. And I’m sure that by the time you see us being spoilt, you would love to be here. I don’t want you to miss it. Please come.

“We have the males that’ll be around too. The Lagos State Sector Commander may be on ground. We are doing things with the men. We are not leaving the men out, because whether we accept it or not, it’s not a thing of competition. It’s a thing of everyone recognizing his or her role. We have the Lagos state’s governor’s wife who is expected to be here. The SSG is also expected to be here. We are expecting all of them here to pass their knowledge to women generally.

“There are issues we need to discuss pertaining to our roles, the diversity of our roles and how we can combine all of it successfully to get our jobs done without having one failing and the other one going okay. We want to be balanced in all areas. That’s the forum we have, and at the end of it, we have fun. Women always tensed up. There’s no way of letting go, so it’s a forum to have fun, make ourselves happy and then we go and relax and we get back to our jobs.”

With regard to the possibility of future initiatives to encourage others to join the women in uniform, she noted that plans are already being made for that.

“That’s coming on the way already. We are hoping if it gets a pass within the year to have a training session, where almost all the women in uniform will come together, and that’s basically training all diverse areas about the law and the peculiarities that are needed in carrying out their duties.”

Fekoya also urged young ladies who may want to join any of the services, to examine their motive, be focused and give their best, understanding that it is a tasking career path.

“What I’ll say is why would you want to join the service? Is it to serve your country? And if that is your motive, then go for it. But it must be a selfless service. You must give in all your best. So, having an understanding that you’ll be going into a multitasking role, you must be prepared for it, if not you won’t make it to the end. I want to encourage every young woman there, whatever job you’re going in for, be focused. Give yourself what you really want to achieve at the end and go all out for it ,you’ll make it. That’s why we’re here to encourage you.”

Melissa Enoch

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