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Askawayhealth Interview – IWD2019 #BalanceForBetterNaija

March 18, 2019

Why ‘BalanceForBetterNaija?

At AskAwayHealth, we wanted to join the global conversations around IWD and so we personalised the theme for Nigeria in 2019 to BalanceForBetterNaija.

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements made by women all over the world.

In addition to this, it addresses the challenges faced by women preventing them from reaching their full potential.

By creating and leading conversations around topics like gender stereotypes and bias, we hope that gender inequality becomes less of the experience of many women worldwide.

We firmly believe that reducing gender inequality contributes to the development of a community as it empowers women.

By empowering women and educating them, we improve their economic status.

We also strengthen their access to life-saving healthcare – improving maternal mortality and limiting disease spread among a whole host of other health indices.

This is why, at the end of a day of social campaigns on Friday 8th March, we hosted a tweet chat with a woman who is a health advocate and proponent of gender equality.

Read the first part of the interview below:

Interview – Why International Women’s Day Matters

“All day on our timeline we shared thoughts on #genderequality, challenging stereotypes; discovering women who have beaten the status quo with strength in womanhood.

Lots of progress is going on, but there is still so much to do in the quest for #BalanceForBetterNaija. Let’s begin!

Our host Dr Sylvia Kama-Kieghe is an experienced Family Health practitioner & advocate for basic healthcare awareness as an empowerment tool.

Founder of AskAwayHealth, she also mentors young career women to develop their greatest potential.

IWD2019⁠ ⁠ is a great opportunity to showcase the powerful potential of womanhood in our generation & I’ve been excited about learning fantastic things women have been doing all day.

It’s great to have brilliant 21st-century Amazon who will be sharing her thoughts & experiences while we tackle issues around Gender Equality in Nigeria.

Meet Our Guest for IWD2019

Welcome Wendy Wokoma; an avid health promoter particularly of Women & Adolescent health because ‘they are pivotal to the sustainable growth and development of any economy‘.

Wendy is a pharmacist with a Master in Public Health, she is Team Lead at @GesamtHealthcare, a Health Promotion Biz; & Host of two successful online campaigns #MakeHerhealthPriority and #TeenSummitNigeria. So, Wendy Wokoma, as we begin the chat tonight:

Q1. What do you understand by the term ‘Gender’?

Good evening Everyone! Thanks, @AskAwayHealth team for this opportunity. Gender for me is beyond the physical characteristics that make one female and another male to the underlying social construct as seen in defined roles. It relates to a particular picture/identity and stereotype that comes to mind when a particular gender is mentioned. Finally, @WHO defines ‘gender’ as the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.”

Q2: So, how would you interpret the theme of this IWD celebration: in the Nigerian (African) local context (considering social, cultural, economic & political determinants)?

“Typically in our culture women are expected to be quiet, on the receiving end of life as it were and expected not to take credit for their contributions. Despite the fact that from time back women have been the pillars of any society. Women are often left out of the will for inheritance and are not often given equal pay. 

Even in matters of their reproductive rights!  A married woman needs the consent of her husband before she can be offered the family planning method of her choice. How many men do you see attending antenatal classes with their partners? How many men attend fertility clinics with their partners? Even in religious settings, it is often ‘women seeking the fruit of the womb’.

Finally, really, the scales need to be ‘#BalanceForBetterNaija’ that society understands the complementary roles and shared responsibilities of both genders. Limiting stereotypes need to be challenged so that both (men and) women can be allowed to maximize their potentials.”

We take a break here and continue the remainder of this illuminating conversation in the second part of the article.

More Reading

Editing By AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly.

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Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

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