IWD 2021: A’Ibom Gov’s Wife Frowns At Rise In Gender Based Violence - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Tuesday, 9 March 2021

IWD 2021: A’Ibom Gov’s Wife Frowns At Rise In Gender Based Violence

...calls for more women inclusion in governance


Rampant cases of gender based violence in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large have been described as a “huge gap” in Nigeria’s progress on women’s rights and empowerment. 


The Wife of Akwa Ibom State governor, Dr. Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel , made the observation today Monday March 8th at the Grand Finale celebration marking the 2021 International Women’s Day celebration held at the Ibom Hall Grounds, Uyo.


She said that legislation plays an important role in the fight against gender based violence and the empowerment of women, noting that the domestication of Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in the state has helped to reduce the spate of violence against women in the state. 


She also noted that Akwa Ibom State had made considerable progress in empowering women and girls through legislations such as the Child Rights Act which has reduced gender gap in school enrolment, Widows’ Protection Act which criminalizes obnoxious traditional practices against widows, but however added that a lot more needs to be done to give women equality.


Speaking on the theme of the year's celebration, “Women In Leadership: Achieving An Equal Future In A Covid-19 World,” the governor’s wife averred that it seeks to celebrate the tremendous efforts of women and girls around the world who are shaping a more equal future.


“Today, there is more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table, and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all. This is why we must make good use of this year’s theme to advocate on the importance of advancing women’s leadership and participation in decision-making,” Emmanuel remarked.


In Akwa Ibom state, she added that though a lot has been achieved by the womenfolk who now occupy top positions in government, she maintained that like Oliver twist, they would still demand for more.


“I thank and commend my dear husband and leader, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel for believing in women and for graciously giving women opportunities in his administration, but like Oliver twist, we would keep asking for more opportunities,” the First Lady said.


While calling on women to shun divisive tendencies which are capable of truncating the efforts so far gained, she said on her part she would continue to amplify their voices. A hundred women were empowered as part of activities of the day by the governor’s wife while also celebrating special women who have made a mark in their chosen fields.


Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel who was ably represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Ephraim Inyang said that women’s equality was not about women fighting against men but it was about providing equal opportunities for both women and men in the society. 


While wishing Akwa Ibom women a happy celebration, he added that while women have risen to positions of authority world over, he was also glad to  have given women opportunities to excel in his government.


At the event was the deputy governor of the state, Mr. Moses Ekpo who in his goodwill message described women as the bastion of hope, stating that their contributions to humanity can never be downplayed.


In a keynote address, Professor Dorathy Sam Umotan, a professor of Law at the University of Uyo while speaking on the 2021 theme said women must change their mindset, embrace education to the fullest, support themselves and be creative if they her to achieve equality.


The event which was preceded by a thanksgiving service featured March-past from women from the 31local government areas and women groups, food and arts exhibitions, ballad and song competitions while prizes were given out to deserving individuals and groups.


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