It was a world-wide celebration when Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took over as the Director-General of the World Trade Organizations (WTO) and her appointment signified different things to different people. Firstly, she is the first woman to ever hold that position which points to the fact that women are beginning to shatter the proverbial glass ceiling that has held them down for so long and are beginning to receive the recognition due to them for the various contributions in different sections of the economy. In a position that had ever been held by men, her appointment was worthy of note and celebration.
Also, her appointment is a win for girls the world over because she has become a point of reference that gives them a hope, a desire that they too can become anything they set their minds to be. It’s a win for women because her appointment and position give them a place of pride that someone like them is occupying a position of authority with so much dignity, skill, experience, and integrity.
To Africa, it shows the world that the continent can and has produced credible people who are contributing to world development and adding value on a universal level. To Nigerians, she is one of the people, who has put the country on the world map, positively.
Educating the girl child is educating a nation because of the rippling effect that women have in terms of contribution and they must be taught and given the chance to choose who and what they want and can become. Imposing who they should be or what the culture or society expects them to be would be detrimental to what they can achieve.
The girl child shouldn’t be made to choose between options but be taught to learn to pick what best suits her, her vision for herself and her future. There should be equality of value for the genders, irrespective of where they are in the world and equal opportunities should be open to both the male and the female to harness what each can and would contribute.
There is great value in both genders contributing immensely to the development of our world.
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