Oby Ezekwesili: The Woman Fighting for Boko Haram Girls is Running For President in Nigeria

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Oby Ezekwesili, The Woman Fighting for Boko Haram Girls & Running For President in Nigeria

Not much has been said in the past few years after the Boko Haram terrorists took over 100 Nigerian girls hostage. Fareed Zakaria recently interviewed Oby Ezekwesili, the Nigerian stateswoman and co-founder of Transparency International. Ezekwesili has devoted much of her career to anti-corruption, a major issue in Nigeria, and was a 2018 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. At present, her mission is to return all the kidnapped schoolgirls back to their families, despite the uneasy fact that the world seems to have moved on from previous outrage.  “…(O)ur government was ultimately able to get about 107 of our girls out, with 112 of them still left there, and we haven't had much in terms of tangible actions to get the rest of the girls back. And that's a large number of children to be missing for going to school.” Ezekwesili holds a master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos as well as a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is running for President of Nigeria this year alongside 15 candidates against the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari. Oby Ezekwesiliand is active on Twitter, and deserves a follow.

UK Pay Inequality: Male vs Female Dominated Jobs

Last October more than 8,000 workers took part in the largest ever equal pay strike in the history of the UK. The strike was over the disparity in gender pay, as female-dominated jobs such as catering or cleaning were paid less in hourly wages than those in male-dominated jobs like garbage collection. "The dispute, which has been fought through the tribunals and courts for more than a decade and involves about 14,000 separate claims, stems from 2006, when a new job evaluation scheme was introduced by the then Labour-run council, with the aim of addressing gender pay inequality,” writes Libby Brooks, the Scotland correspondent of The Guardian. “Instead, say the women affected, it entrenched discrimination by paying female-dominated jobs such as catering and cleaning less than male-dominated jobs such as refuse collection because of a complex system that penalised people working split shifts and irregular hours."

Women’s March 2019

The weather (snow, frigid temperatures) and controversy around the administration of the Women’s March has resulted in smaller numbers of participants on January 19th. Still, many came out enthusiastically on Saturday. “’I came two years ago. It’s definitely smaller, but the spirit is very much alive,’” Rachel Stucky, 53, an educator from Salem, Ore, told The New York Times. “’It’s a chance to march, to be with others who are like-minded, to be able to express my energy. People have a lot of say, and that doesn’t change.’” Check out some unfiltered video, photos and Tweets via #WomensMarch2019, and from photographer Daniela Kirsch.

Media organizations are going to make the main takeaway of the Women’s March this year the lower attendance figures, unfortunately. Even before the events ended, media organizations were lamenting the decline in numbers in their headlines and ledes (The New York Times, glad to relate, did not). “Two years ago, something important felt possible,” Esther Wang writes at Jezebel. “Today, that feeling still remains for some. But all of the conflicts and scrutiny—many of which are the very same that have caused feminist infighting for decades—have turned what was an inspiring moment and movement into something decidedly less so for many others, illustrating both the need for the Women’s March as well as the almost impossible task of building it.”

Arizona to Ratify ERA

Will Arizona become the crucial 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? Arizona, though a solid red state, has more Democrats in the state legislature than it has had since 1966. They only need to persuade two Republicans to pass the ERA. Two new state senators— women— Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, and Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, have voiced support for the legislation. "'It's time for us to make history,' (State Senator) Powers Hannley said as she spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 women, many wearing purple-white-and-green ERA sashes. ‘There is no time limit on equality.’" The amendment contains three sections, including “Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Does anyone disagree with that? Also: “Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.  Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.” Former Supreme Court Justice – and conservative Republican – Sandra Day O’Connor, when she was a member of the Arizona State Senate, was a proponent of the ERA.

Gender Equality in Tennis

Maria Sharapova has a dim view of many men tennis players, and how they fight for gender equality in the sport of tennis. British Tennis player Andy Murray is an exception. He has been fighting for equalityequal prize money at events—for some time now. But it is hard to think of other prominent men in the sport standing up for equal gender pay. “Relatively speaking, I think they have been really tough, especially when it came to equality, as a general point,” Sharapova told reporters. “I mean, sitting at a press conference in Wimbledon five, seven years ago, there was not a lot of warmth coming from that side or that perspective.” Serena Williams has been a strong and consistent voice for men and women teaming up to tackle gender equality in the sport. "In order for change to really be made," Serena Williams said this week at the Australian Open, "men and women have to work together and have the same message."

Cover via The Sun