1.I am very humbled and pleased to wish, on behalf of the Membership of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States and in my own name, Happy International Women’s Day to all women around the world, especially the women of West Africa.
2. On March 8 each year, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, a day set aside to shine the spotlight on women’s issues and create awareness for a more inclusive, equal and gender sensitive society. The international theme for this year’s observance, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality”, is carefully crafted to recognize and celebrate women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education.
3. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day by focusing on the importance of innovation and technology to the campaign for gender equality, we are reminded of the multiple benefits that can be derived from digitalization. With digitalization and technology, women can be better informed about all aspects of their lives and acquire basic skills that can lead to economic independence. Women and girls can also gain access to online business and learning platforms and, most importantly, they can use the digital space to share their views and network around issues that affect them, including sexual harassment, gender violence and discrimination in all forms.
4. On this very important occasion, I acknowledge and commend the very important steps being taken by ECOWAS Member States to address Gender issues and express the optimism that our policies will be accompanied by more practical implementations.
5. I express the commitment of the ECOWAS Parliament to playing its rightful role in contributing to regional programs that address women issues, and affirm the Parliament’s support for National Parliaments, as they legislate policies that address gender disparities.
6. Again, let me join the millions of voices around the world and wish all Women a HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.
Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis
Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament