Wife of the governor of Bayelsa state, Dr. Rachael Dickson has said that women of the state have been given a voice under the restoration government of her husband, Seriake Dickson.
Mrs Dickson made the assertion during the 2019 International Women's Day celebration held at the Peace Park, opposite Government House in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.
Speaking at the event, the governor's wife said the world international women's day celebration was to hold on March 8 but was shifted due to electoral activities in the state.
According to her, gender equality and human rights were fundamental to addressing the societal challenges faced by the women folk, adding that the more women were put into leadership positions, the easier it would be for conflicts to be settled.
Calling on parents, especially women, to take advantage of the free education scheme of the present administration and take the education of the girl child seriously, the first lady noted that the world had acknowledged the right and dignity of women in contributing to a successful world.
Commending her husband for appointing many women into positions of trust, Dickson's wife said "when women are given their pride of place, we may have a society that is safe, we may have a world that there is peace and a society where the rights of everyone will be respected.
"In Bayelsa, our story has changed. Today, we are celebrated. Today, the Bayelsa woman's voice is heard. Today, our daughters are celebrated. But I also want to urge that we will never go back to slumber or think that we have arrived.
"We should push forward. Even when our daughters make mistakes, they should be encouraged to go back to school. When our daughters fall, they should be aided to get up.
"I want to say to every Ijaw woman, give quality education to your daughters and your sons. We are proud to see the achievements of our children. Even when I step aside next year as the first lady of Bayelsa, I will continue to be at the forefront, fighting for the Ijaw girl, fighting for the rights of women all over the world".
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Martha Janakumo asserted that gender balance was being achieved under the present government, noting that over three hundred women had been given political appointments by governor Dickson.
She also stated that one of the women oriented programmes of the Dickson's government was the establishment of the Safe Motherhood Scheme under which all pregnant women have access to free pre and post natal care and a monthly stipend during and after birth.