Int’l Women’s Day: LAPO Seeks Gender Balanced Leadership

Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) joined the global community to mark this year’s International Women’s Day with seminars, rallies and free health screening for common diseases. 

The event, which held across the country under the sub-theme: “Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women,” provided LAPO the needed platform to discuss and address issues militating against women’s advancement and enjoyment of good life.

In Benin City, Prof (Mrs.) Nkolika Aniekwu of the University of Benin, Edo state tasked individuals, corporate organisations, multinational groups and agencies to step up concrete actions to accelerate gender parity in the country .

She expressed satisfaction that world leaders were leading actions to influence outcomes of women and girls in the area of gender relations, adding that many have also pledged support for accelerated women’s empowerment in all spheres of life.

LAPO Executive Director, Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, Chairperson, Board of Directors, Prof. Christiana Okojie, Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Aanena Jemitola Fulani-Ojo and Hon. Elizabeth Ativie of the Edo State House of Assembly were among personalities who delivered papers to mark the International Women’s Day in Benin city.

The 10-point communiqué issued at the end of the ceremony, among others, commended LAPO for promoting the interest and rights of women and the under privileged in the society through free legal aid, social and health empowerment programmes.

It lauded LAPO for empowering 586,000 women with social and health empowerment services in 2015, including 3,247 women sensitised on the dangers and solutions available for abused women and girls as well as 31 female rape victims who received free legal aid.

The forum urged women to move from the realm of talk to action and from rhetoric to reality 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 14-year old Ese Oruru by one Yunusa and called for a proper and diligent prosecution to serve as deterrent to others.

Participants at the forum also urged women to be supportive of fellow women as well as believe in themselves towards achieving gender parity and equity, just as it enjoined women to be self-reliant, bold in asserting their rights at all times.

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.