By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos, Nigeria – The lone female among 18 aspirants for the seat of the Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Patricia Lar has urged women seeking leadership roles not to be deterred by criticisms. Such women should work to achieve their dreams as they have capacity to reform society, said Mrs. Lar, Tuesday.
A Professor of microbiology, Mrs. Lar said women have capacity for growth and development but have been limited by prejudices and religious sentiments, but most not relent, said the University Don.
Speaking in Jos during an event tagged: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” organized by the Plateau State Chapter, Women4Women Community, He4She to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, Lar, who was guest speaker noted that wrong beliefs and stereotypes have hindered the exploitation of the good leadership qualities of women.
Her words, “Women have good leadership qualities that need to be exploited. A woman has capacity to give the society all embracing leadership and that is what I discovered having worked in the University for many years. There is need to create more room in leadership for women if we want the next 60 years to be better than the one we have experienced as a nation.”
She thanked the missionaries for schools that were created for females stating that schools allowed many women to develop, stressing, “I have worked for over 30 years in the University of Jos and feel is not wrong to aspire for the number one position in the university. I draw from strength within me and colleagues and I confronted the fear that could have been a stumbling block.”
State Coordinator of the group, Dr. Jophia Gupar, expressed delight at the strides women are taking but asked that more women aspire and attain the position of leadership especially as the general elections approach.
She said, “The entire month of March is dedicated to women and we chose to celebrate ours on March 29 because of other women engagements. I challenge women to be part of developmental activities going on in their respective communities by joining women groups.
“The world identifies serious groups that are into development, empowerment and building of capacity of women. I encourage women to identify with groups that can support them in whatever good thing they are doing.”
Mrs. Helen Dabup, Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the event added that the topic of the celebration “choose to challenge” is apt and stressed that women should choose to challenge discrimination in the society, choose to challenge stereotypical ideas which are against women and speak up for the right of women and the girl child.
She further advised women to look out for leaders and support only male contestants that have compassion for women.