NMA urges Nigerians to shun biases, stereotypes

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By Oluwafunke Ishola

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on all well meaning Nigerians to shun biases and stereotypes enshrined in gender inequality.

Dr Adetunji Adenekan and Dr Ime Okon, the Chairman and Secretary of NMA, Lagos chapter, jointly made the call in a statement on Monday in commemoration of the celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD).

The NMA leaders also urged Nigerians to do everything within their sphere of influence to foster a more equal and unbiased society.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8.

The celebration seeks to help forge a gender equal world, celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality.

They said that a great society would enable people to thrive and reach their peak, irrespective of their gender and allows people to contribute their quotas without being boxed in a corner.

“Leaders in every sphere of the society must continually use their platforms to smash these stereotypes if we must make progress collectively and achieve a greater Lagos and indeed a better Nigeria,’’ Adenekan and Okon said.

According to them, the IWD sheds light on the gravity of the work that needs to be done to further bridge the inequality gap in the society.

“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the largest body of medical professionals in the centre of excellence Lagos State, is using all her platforms to speak up against stereotypes against women and girls.

“We implore the general public, leaders in the corporate world and governments, to join the IWD’s community, and also use their various platforms to advocate a more equal and equitable society, irrespective of gender.

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“NMA Lagos, with every given opportunity and on all platforms, chooses to challenge stereotypes against women and girls in our society.

“If we continually speak up against these biases, our society will be better,’’ they said.

The NMA leaders said they have utilised various media platforms to celebrate women, particularly those who distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine and dentistry, adding that women were worth celebrating.

“With all of these changes going on around the world, we realise that women have contributed greatly in the achievements that we have recorded, both locally and in the global space,’’ they said.

The NMA decried various biases and stereotyping that tend to deter women from reaching the peak of leadership, career or businesses in the country.

“Many women are still being discouraged from aspiring to reach great heights because they are told that `a woman’s place is in the kitchen’.

“Today, the world is celebrating some of our women imagine, if they were not properly educated, or that they didn’t get requisite support needed because of `age-long’ derogatory stereotypes limiting women from exhibiting their full potential,’’ they said.

The NMA appealed to governments at all levels to ensure that the rights of women were upheld.

“Violence against women must never be tolerated in any way. The girl-child must be encouraged to study to the highest level attainable.

“We must do all it takes to end child marriage and prosecute those who engaged in such abominable acts. Women should be encouraged to get actively involved in politics,’’  Adenekan and Okon said.

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They said that the intentional celebration and continual support for women who were exemplary and excelling in their various fields of endeavour should be improved. (NAN

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