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The Chairperson

Guest Lecturers

Special Guests of Honour

Development Partners

Community and Civil Society Leaders

Members of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to be part of today’s occasion put together by LAPO to mark the 2014 International Women’s Day.

LAPO recognizes that gender relations and inequalities are fundamental causes of poverty and therefore promotes the interest and rights of women and the underprivileged in the society. It is fully committed to channeling her energy, effort and resources into processes that will create a society that values women, men, girls and boys equally.

LAPO annually brings together actors from Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organizations, academia, government, politics, women group and other stakeholders to celebrate the International Women’s Day. This is based on the conviction that the process of development in any society is one that demands collective effort, continuous probing and research.

Although a lot of progress has been made in the struggle to free women from the clutches of discrimination and abuse, this day reminds us that much work lies ahead to achieve true gender equality in Nigeria and Africa in general. This inequality can be seen in persistent gender unequal opportunities, low representation of women in leadership both public and private sector, child marriage and missing girls due to son preference, and continuing violence against women in all its forms.

We in LAPO believe that there is an urgent need to address the marginalization of women in all facets of our national life. The theme for this year is Inspiring Change: Enhancing Women Equality in Decision making. It encourages advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance in inspiring positive change.

Today’s discourse shall be energized by two papers to be presented by distinguished personalities in our midst.   Professor Eghafona Kokunre, a scholar of note shall deliver a paper on Inspiring Change: Balancing the professional and private roles of women and men while Onoho’omhen Ebhohimhen, Executive Director, Society for Development, Environment, Research and Documentation will dwell on Inspiring Change: Working with men as partners to promote women active participation in politics.

I appreciate the Chairperson of today’s occasion; Hon Esohe Jacobs who always honours our call in spite of her busy schedule. I am grateful to all the distinguished personalities that have come here today.

Once again, I welcome you all to this occasion marking the International Women’s Day. Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development.  Equality for women is progress for all!

Thank you and God bless you all.

Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe

Executive Director

March 10, 2014

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