International Women’s Day, Atiku Celebrates Orekunrin, Okundaye, Others
On this special day, I join everyone around the world to celebrate women. In a place like Nigeria, the efforts of women are usually most acknowledged in the household — and, indeed, we must never take their efforts on the home front for granted.
However, the International Women’s Day offers us a great opportunity to go beyond the home front and celebrate women everywhere: in the household, at the workplace, or in the field.
I celebrate women like Dr Ola Orekunrin, a medical doctor, helicopter pilot and healthcare entrepreneur, who founded Flying Doctors Nigeria, West Africa’s first Air Ambulance Service that is breaking new grounds in bringing trauma care to the remotest parts of Nigeria and the sub-region.
I celebrate Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, who contested as a member of the House of Representatives when she was just 35 and with a new baby. Today, she is one of the longest-serving legislators. I celebrate the all-female team of athletes who represented Nigeria in the just-concluded Winter Olympics in South Korea, making history and breaking barriers.
I celebrate women like renowned artist Nike Davies-Okundaye, founder of the popular Nike Art gallery in Lagos; Rabia Salihu Sa’id, a physicist, professor of atmospheric and space-weather physics, and a researcher at the Bayero University, Kano; Mrs. Itoro Eze-Anaba, anti-rape activist and founder of Mirabel Centre, Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral centre.
Of course, it would be impossible for me to mention all the women shining as stars in the spheres of business, government, arts and science. Space will also not permit me to include in this short piece, women making a mark in other spheres of influence beyond these. This is just a taster, to remind us Nigerians what is possible when women have opportunity and support.