Osun State University Vice-Chancellor Professor Labode Popoola Thursday urged women to aim high and be available for opportunities by advancing in learning and becoming effective in their careers.
Popoola, represented by his deputy Professor Janet Olaitan, said this during the maiden edition of the International Women’s Day celebration in the College of Humanities, Ikire campus of the institution.
He noted that raising each other up and channeling the power of collaboration is the only way to change the gender inequality equation. He also urged policymakers to listen to women’s expertise and have confidence in their research.
While speaking at the event, the Provost of the college, Professor Temitope Balogun, said the school is joining the globe to mark this year IWD because “in the humanities, we believe in projecting human values and foregrounding the essence of humans.”
“Society through the use of language and certain voices suppress, oppress, and intimidates women and sees them as second-class citizens from the moment of birth,” the provost said.
“Over the years, due to socio-cultural constructs, women have internalized certain gendered traits and attributes,” she added.
According to her, the female gender forms more than 50 per cent of the world’s population but “the most power-centered positions of control, leadership, and authority are vastly occupied by men.”
“These social narrative and consciousness need a serious conscious and mental change by women so as to push the agenda for equality in all spheres,” Professor Temitope disclosed, adding that women should be perceived by herself foremost and as an independent, strong, and powerful human who is capable of much more within and outside the household-kitchen mentality.
She advocated for mental restructuring and shift from the social conditions, gendered traits, and attributes of the society.
“Never be afraid of starting small, or independently. Do not be crippled by fear of failure and scorn. Remember, to succeed, one must fail. Believe in yourself, take a calculated risk, stay about stereotypical boxes and condition your mind to achieve more.”
Professor Ebunoluwa Olufemi and Dr Julianah Akindele also shared the same sentiments during their presentations.
They held that women should not only choose to challenge gender inequality but also embrace mentoring and set values for themselves by optimizing various opportunities in the digital age to achieve success in their chosen field.
The Dean, Faculty of Arts and Culture, Professor Rotimi Fasan encouraged women to stand up to take society to the next level, pointing out that it is a sign of inferiority complex for a man to discriminate against women.
Similarly, a girl-child rights campaigner and alumnus of the University Miss Omowumi Issamotu admonished young women not to be discouraged by events of their past and be resilient to shatter limitations and stand out in whatever they do.