Linda Ayade Joins Ministry Of Women Affairs To Commemorate 2022 IWD In Calabar

By Margaret Asikong

The wife of Cross River State Governor, Lady Dr Linda Ayade, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs (MOWA), have joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day (IWD) recently in Calabar, with the theme: “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

Speaking at the premises of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Hope Waddel Avenue, Calabar, the venue for the celebration, the First Lady of the State, DrAyade said that it is an honour for her to be in the company of many amazing women on the special occasion of celebrating womanhood and reviewing their progress in the fight for freedom from stereotypes and discrimination that has gone on for many years.

She stated that the theme for 2022 IWD focuses on breaking the bias against women and that they want a world where their uniqueness as women is valued as well as celebrated rather than for it to be opposed, despised and ignored, adding that they want a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, amongst others.

She maintained that it is in pursuit of these goals that the UN Women aptly chose the theme for 2022 IWD.
According to the Governor’s wife “Our society is better off when women get the opportunities they deserve. Our society has been deprived of certain advancements as a result of the woman being denied leadership opportunity and for many years this has been the status quo”, adding that, “Our plight as women in Nigeria is largely in our hands and whatever path we choose to follow will determine our ultimate end”.

Dr. Linda Ayade lamented that among the sixty-eight proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution that members of the National Assembly had to vote on recently, only one out of the five gender equality bills passed, while the other four failed, adding that, about 95% men voted against some of the constitutional amendments that women want, such as; the right for a women to take indigene-ship of her husband’s state after five years of marriage, 35% affirmative action for women in party administration and leadership; 35% appointed positions to be reserved for women, specific seats to be allocated for women in the National Assembly and the right for a Nigerian woman to grant her foreign-born husband Nigerian Citizenship, yet, according to her, a Nigerian man’s foreign-born wife gets automatic citizenship.

She maintained that having women in leadership position should become the norm and not the exception as many women have reached the apex of business conglomerates and banking institutions, while many seat on decision-making boards across the country and that excluding the woman from leadership positions is to exclude half of the country’s population from exercising their inherent talents and abilities. She however expressed joy that CRS is taking the lead in the political empowerment for women, with abundance of women at every strategic position in the state such as; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Commissioner, Special Adviser, Director-General, Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Councilors, adding that, the narrative has changed, they have been strong in their fight for emancipation.
She called on CRS women to become mentors to the younger generation that their daughters can look up to, teaching them by example to be assertive and also respectful; visionary, contented, hardworking and submissive to their husbands, amongst others, while applauding the women who have taken the bull by the horn on building a sustainable future for the young women.

Lady Dr Ayade stated that her pledge to continue reaching women and the vulnerable in every LGA in the state with livelihood support and health inputs is real and that she has continued to redeem this across the state through the many activities and interventions of her NGOs – the Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF) and Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI).

She used the occasion to express thanks to the organizations whose invaluable partnership has made their work impactful in various communities in Cross River and beyond such as; the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN women, UNFPA, Lafarge Africa, United Purpose, amongst others, while also expressing thanks to all present, especially the women of CRS for their support, as she looks forward to achieving a gender-balanced CRS with their support and wished all a happy women’s day.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Mrs. Tina Banku Agbor said that the IWD is a special day to celebrate themselves as women not as men. According to her, a house without a woman looks different and is not complete, for the woman’s role is complementary, while admonishing the men to allow the women to be equal even in leadership position, for with a woman they can always sleep with their eyes closed, adding that, the women are capable of discharging their duties and assigned responsibilities effectively and efficiently and will not betray the men, amongst other things.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, Surv. Dr. Gertrude Nnanjah Njar, on behalf of the entire staff of CRS Ministry of Women Affairs welcomed the wife of the State Governor and members of her entourage, as well as distinguished guests, the women of CRS and all present to the 2022 IWD.

According to her, the MOWA is the hub of great activities in the Ayade-led administration with its mandate to cater for the women and children and that it has gone to the level of catering for the men as well as they are part of the women and society, hence the less traffic of complaints to the Office if the Wife of the Governor.
She maintained that March 8, is always a great day for the women and girls internationally and that the women of CRS are joining their counterparts globally for the celebration of the great day set aside for women since 1917 after the Soviet-Russia women protest for the right to vote and be voted for, while lamenting that 105 years later, the women are still agitating for gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.

Surv. Dr. Gertrude Njar stated that women have strategic objectives and goals especially to groom leaders for tomorrow; create more successful entrepreneurs; create employment and wealth for women and girls, connect communities and build an ecosystem where everyone will connect digitally, share knowledge, as well as build communities for the future.

In their goodwill messages, the Chairman of Calabar South LGA, Hon (Mrs) Esther Bassey, her counterpart in Odukpani LGA, Ntukai Hon (Mrs) Justina Edem and the Vice Chairman of Bakassi LGA and President of CROWEI, Eti-Eka Lawrencia Ita (JP) also lend their voices to congratulated all the women who have excelled in their chosen fields and expressed appreciation to Lady Dr Ayade and her dear husband for ensuring that many women are being brought into the Ayade-led administration , adding that, it is high time they showcase their God given talents, amongst other things.

Highlights at the event included; presentation of award to Dr Linda Ayade, award of prizes to the winners of the march past, with Odukpani LGA taking the 1st position, Calabar South, 2nd position and Calabar Municipality taking the 3rd position respectively; goodwill messages, from UNFPA, NIDF, GADA, FIDA, MWA, CCCRN, NCF, GPI, amongst other partners, cultural displays, group photographs, amongst others.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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