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April 21, 2024
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NOC Women Commission taking part in a 2km walk as part of activities to celebrate the 2024 International Women’s Day on Friday in Abuja. (Photo Credit: NAN)

NOC advocates inclusion of more women in sports, other sectors

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By Victor Okoye

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) through its Women Commission, has urged women to be more involved in sports and other walks of life to inspire the next generation leaders.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was the message at the body’s celebration of the 2024 International Women’s Day on Friday in Abuja.

The theme of this year’s event was “Inspire Inclusion.” #Strong women, strong world.

The president of NOC, Habu Gumel, said the event was very significant to the NOC, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the entire Olympic movement in the whole world.

He said that the month of March was always dedicated to the celebration of Women’s Day and not just March 8 alone.

“So today here in Abuja, we are celebrating the Women’s Day, and you can see the large number of gatherings of women that are here with us to celebrate.

“They are so important to us. We want as many as possible, as we cannot do without them.

“In the IOC, we always advocate for gender-balance because we believe that whatever the men can do, the women can do it also.

“The ratio of men to women in the IOC now is about 60:40, and it will even be about 50:50 with time.

“Likewise, in the NOC, we are doing our best to make sure that we have a lot of women in our schools, in our board, and everywhere else.

“Most of our programmes are tailored toward encouraging women as athletes, coaches, administrators and technical officials,” he said

Gumel said the leadership of NOC would continue to encourage and support the participation of women to come on board and take leadership positions.

The Chairperson, NOC Women’s Commission, Prof. Florence Adeyanju harped on the roles of women in making the sports industry and other sectors better.

Adeyanju who was represented by Olubunmi Oluode, the Vice Chairperson of the Commission, said that the role of the women in sports cannot be over emphasised.

“We are celebrating women, we are celebrating inclusion and we are celebrating the fact that women are still achieving, that we are breaking barriers and stereotypes.

“We have women all across the sports industry that are doing well and that is the essence of bringing out every other woman to take part in this event.

“If you look at Nigeria’s participation at the just concluded African Games, you will see that our women achieved even more than our male athletes.

“So, my message today is for more women to be included not just in sports, but also in the educational, military, health and other sectors of human endeavours,” she said.

Kemi Obidahunsi, Secretary, NOC Women Commission, said that the role of the commission was to cater for the welfare of women in sports, including athletes, coaches, officials and sports administrators.

She said that for the first time the IOC was celebrating a 50/50 representation of both male and female athletes and officials in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“So, we are celebrating that the women are rising up to the task in the sporting industry, and we are also celebrating ourselves as women and the strength we possess.

“When we talk about women inclusion, we are not saying we want to compete with our male counterparts or rub shoulders with them.

“All we are saying is that where men are, the women can also be there. So it doesn’t have to be competition,” she said.

NAN also reports that the celebration began with a 2km walk which started off from the Ministry of Finance and ended at the Eagles Square. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Joseph Edeh

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