A judge of the ECOWAS Court has assured female staff that the management will take steps to address shortcomings in the representation of women in strategic positions in the Court in order to strengthen its image as an equal opportunities employer.

Speaking at a dinner hosted on 9th March 2017 by the Women’s forum of the Court to mark the International Women’s Day, Honorable Justice Yaya Boiro challenged them to be motivated by the theme of this year’s celebration as adopted by the UN to strive for greater heights in their determination to attain gender parity in the work place.

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough,” the Judge said quoting the Liberian President and Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Justice Boiro, who represented the President of the Court on the occasion, assured that ECOWAS recognised the value of women and their plight which explains the decision to set up the Dakar—based ECOWAS Gender Centre since 2003 as one of the pivots for promoting gender equality.

Moreover, he said that Member States were being encouraged to formulate and implement gender sensitive policies which will enable them to harness the capacities of women for national and regional development.

The Judge who spoke on “Be Bold for Change” with focus on Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, the theme adopted by the United Nations for the 2017 celebration described the theme as timely and apt in view of the dynamics of the work place, adding that there was the need to ensure the protection of women’s rights.

Earlier, the head of the women’s forum, Mrs. Franca Ofor, had urged the management of the Court to revisit the underrepresentation of women in strategic positions in the Court and devise ways to promote a sense of belonging among the female staff.

Other speakers equally extolled the virtues of women of the Court and challenged them to aspire and equip themselves for higher positions. These included Mr. Atannon Athanase, Deputy Chief Registrar who represented the Chief Registrar, Mr Tony Anene-Maidoh and Mr. William Towah, Director of Administration and Finance.

A nutritionist, Mrs. Justina Oged, also made a presentation in which she pointed out the value of tropical fruit and vegetable diets to good health and longevity.

The dinner was the last in the series of activities organised by the forum to mark the day and included visits, the presentation of gift items to two orphanages and a camp for   Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Abuja, both of which took place on Tuesday 7th March 2017.

On 8th March 2017, the day set aside by the United Nations for the event, the women of the Court joined their counterparts from the ECOWAS Commission and Parliament for the joint commemoration of the event at a ceremony held at the ECOWAS Parliament.

The event was concluded with a family picnic held on 11th March 2017.