Doris Michael is a ONE member based in Lagos, Nigeria who is passionate about empowering the girl-child to know their rights and improve their position in society. She is excited that the new Global Goals include Goal 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” She believes that if implemented effectively, in 2030 the world will be a better place.
In September, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted 17 Global Goals which will shape the targets of many countries until 2030. The goals cover poverty eradication, access to health care, efforts to address climate change, access to education and clean water among others.
For Doris, in order to fully realise Goal 5, political leaders should begin to take action by enacting laws and formulating policies that will protect the rights of girls and women in the society. They need to step up their efforts to empower women through education investments and effective legal systems that protect women.
Doris believes that when we think of one gender as superior to the other, we create an environment where one sex becomes more vulnerable. In poorer countries especially poverty exposes women to several vices, amongst which are, prostitution, violence, dropping out of school, and gender discrimination.
Doris hopes that by 2030, the following scenarios will be history:
- Where families believe that by giving their daughters as child brides, they will enrich themselves;
- A woman losing everything to her in-laws when her husband dies regardless of her contribution to the acquisitions;
- A woman who is relegated to the background in her matrimonial home because she did not given birth to a male child;
- The girl-child who is disinherited in favour of her male siblings;
- The assumption in the workplace that a successful woman has slept her way up the corporate ladder regardless of her level of competence or sterling qualifications
As a ONE member, she is excited and privileged to be part of a movement of people that will bring about the cultural changes in Nigeria to ensure that this global goal is realized. She will join groups of people who will be making demands when policies are formulated and implemented, to seek redress to ensure women are not discriminated against.
By 2030 she hopes that every girl and woman will know that she too has right to the good life, education, health services, capital and leadership, and still retain her dignity as a woman who is a builder, a nurturer, a moulder of character, a wife and a mother. She wants women to erase the belief that they are second-class citizens! Women need to be strong and confident that they have what it takes to be independent and still be feminine.