A communiqué issued at the end of the LAPO International Women’s Day Celebration 2016

A communiqué issued at the end of the LAPO International Women’s Day Celebration held at the LAPO Institute, Uselu, Benin City on Thursday, March 10, 2016 on the global theme: “Pledge For Parity, Planet 50-50 by 2030, Step It Up for Gender Equalitywith our sub-theme: “Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.”

Preamble

Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a poverty-focused development institution marked the 2015 International Women’s Day celebration in Benin City with the theme: ““Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.”

The programme, chaired by Professor Agatha Eguavoen of the Ambose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, provided opportunity for participants including stakeholders and partners in development to discuss and exchange ideas on how best to redress the marginalization of women in all facets of our national life.

After an exhaustive discourse of the paper: Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women presented by Professor Nkolika Aniekwe of the Faculty of Law, the University of Benin, Benin City, the participants came up with the following observations and recommendations:

  1. The Conference commended Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) for promoting the interest and rights of women and the underprivileged in the society through social and health empowerment programmes. It lauded the organization for empowering 586,000 women with social and health empowerment services in 2015, including 3,247 women sensitized on the dangers and solutions available for abused women and girls with 31 female rape victims receiving free Legal Aid.
  2. The Conference contended that an enlightened and economically empowered woman from experience guarantees the future of the girl-child whose access to education or skill is secured.
  3. The Conference enjoined all stakeholders to take urgent steps towards creating a world with gender balanced leadership, respect and values. It noted that gender parity must be attained before 2030 to avert the sluggish progress that condemns a child born today to wait 80 years before seeing an equal world.
  4. It emphasized that women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys in employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels.
  5. The Forum noted that equality for women means progress for all. It therefore called for collaborative efforts towards the attainment of women’s rights, socio-economic empowerment and gender parity. 
  6. The Forum urged women to move from the realm of talk to action and from rhetorics to realities and recommended the doctrine of necessity to bridge the gap between gender inequality, discrimination and abuse. It denounced the recent abduction, abuse and forced marriage of Ese Oruru by one Yunusa and called for a proper and diligent prosecution to serve as deterrent others      
  7. Participants urged women to be supportive of fellow women as well as believe in themselves toward achieving gender parity and equity.
  8. The Forum noted that individuals, organizations and governments must continue to strategize to lift women from poverty to financial freedom and independence, identified poverty alleviation and economic independence as key factors that are clearly fundamental to gender parity and equality.
  9. The Forum noted that no appreciable development can be made either at the local, national or international platform without mentoring and recognizing girls and women as equal players in decision making, empowering, up-skilling and investing in them for a better world.
  10. The Forum enjoined women to be self-reliant, bold in asserting their rights at all times.

                                            SIgn
Sabina Idowu-Osehobo                              Professor Agatha Eguavoen

Executive Director                                           Chairperson