..bags FIDA Award of Excellence in Gender Advocacy
The First Lady of Ondo State, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has reiterated her resolution to continuously impact the lives of women and girls, through the various programmes she initiated which are geared towards bridging gender disparity.
She said this in Owerri while delivering her acceptance speech after receiving an award of Excellence as Champion for the advocacy of women and girls, bestowed on her by the International Federation of Female Lawyers, FIDA, Imo State chapter.
Represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Rowland Onyekwu, Chief Mrs Akeredolu bemoaned the increase in violence against women and girls, while lauding Ondo and Imo States for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPP.
Commenting on the theme of the FIDA Law Week, ‘Women as Endangered Species: Fact or Fiction, ‘The Practicability of VAPP law’, the Ondo First Lady applauded members of FIDA in Imo for their selfless services to the cause of girls and women.
She said: “My experience really showed that FIDA is MTN, Everywhere you go!. FIDA’s network is both impressive and astonishing. If you need their assistance, simply reach out to FIDA in any state you are in and you are good to go.
“This award strengthens my resolve to continue with the various programs I have executed within Ondo State, Imo State and beyond targeting children, girls and women. From 2017 till date, about 1500 girls from Ondo, Imo, Ekiti and Oyo states have been trained through my Bemore Empowered Initiative. Some FIDA, Imo State branch members witnessed the last edition of the Bemore Summer Bootcamp held here in Owerri, Imo state.
” Another of my initiatives, the Foundation of Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) has also empowered over 18,000 women across Ondo State since its creation in 2017.
“These initiatives strive to close the gender gap and eradicate deep-seated inequality for women, provision of economic opportunities, increase of potential access to funding, investment in women’s health and provision of a soft landing for girls to participate in STEM of which we already have many success stories.
Speaking on the VAPP Law, the Ada Owere 1 lamented the rate at which Nigerian women still experience sexual and gender-based violence, including girls, as many states are still hesitant to domesticate it.
According to her, globally, around 137 women are killed by their partner or a family member every day, while 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime; as many as 150 million girls worldwide are raped or subject to sexual violence each year, usually by someone in their family circle.
She, therefore, plegded her continous collaboration with FIDA in the fight against violence against women and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups in the society.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Imo State’s FIDA Chairperson, Barr. Dame Chisara Egwim-Chima appreciated the Ondo First Lady for supporting and identifying with the association.
She decried the degree of moral decadence and insecurity in Nigeria, and called on government at all levels to intensify efforts in delivering the dividends of democracy to the citizenry.
The Guest Lecturer at the event, Hon. Justice V. C. Isiguzo, emphasised the need to empower and educate women, which, according to her, is one of the profound ways to prevent female gender from being an endangered specie.