Int’l Women’s Day: Enugu women honour Ugwuanyi, Ezeilo, Nnaji ,others

Enugu state women , Saturday,March 2nd,2024,  honoured Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, the wife of the immediate past Governor of the state, Rt. Hon.(Dr.) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Enugu state,Hon. Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the  University of Nigeria Nsukka,Enugu Campus, Prof Edith Nwosu, former Commissioner for Gender and Social Development, Rt. Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji for their outstanding contributions to the development of women and the growth of the state.

Pix- Mrs Mbah’ being honoured

Pix- Mrs Mbah honouring Mrs Ugwuunyi

Others honoured at the event put together to mark the 2024 International Women’s Day, which is held on March 8,  annually were Rt. Hon. Jane Eneh, Lady Engr. Mrs Uchenna Nebiem Ujam, Mrs Patience Ozokwor, and Ambassador Mrs Chnemerem Anyi.

Speaking shortly after receiving the award which was personally presented to her by the wife of the Enugu state Governor, Mrs Nkechinyere Mbah,  at the event held at the auditorium of the Post Primary School Management Board (PPSMB) Enugu, the wife of the immediate past Governor of Enugu state, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi thanked the Governor’s wife for the honour given to her, describing it as part of the inclusion, the Theme of the 2024 focused on.

She said  women are unique and should strive to greatness, adding that  women should support themselves to achieve the desired results in the society, saying,  “We need women who will work for us, if we try picking the right person, we will get there.

Pix- Deputy Gov’s wife,Mrs Ossai(1st L)Gov” s wife, Mrs Mbah( 2nd L) Mrs ugwuanyi (2nd R)

She urged the women to support her successor, the wife of Enugu state Governor, Mrs Nkechinyere Mbah, saying,”  You supported me  throughout  my tenure. Please,  I want you to support our mother.If we support ourselves, we will ger there”, Mrs Ugwuanyi said..

In her speech, the wife of the Governor of Enugu state, Mrs Nkechinyere Mbah’,  said the  International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on the 8th of March annually to commemorate the resilience, achievements and contributions of women in various fields of endeavours whilst also acknowledging the challenges they continue to face.

“This year’s theme, “Inspire inclusion,” propels us to recognise and appreciate the diverse talents, perspectives and experiences that women bring to the table,” she said..

According to her, International Women’s Day serves as a call to action for accelerating Women’s rights and fostering a more inclusive and equitable society.

“To achieve true inclusion, we must break down barriers that hinder progress; this includes addressing issues such as gender-based violence, unequal access to education, healthcare and discriminatory practices in the workplace.

“We must reflect on the persistent challenges, particularly the pressing issue of food insecurity in our beloved country. The role of women in our society is multifaceted, and often, women bear the weight of ensuring the well-being of their families..

” It is with this understanding that my office has taken a step  on this International Women’s Day to address the pressing issue of food insecurity that affects countless households in Enugu State.

She noted  that addressing food insecurity requires collective efforts, and the initiative is a small yet significant step towards a future where no one in Enugu State goes to bed hungry. 

‘Let this act of generosity inspire us all to contribute to the well-being of our fellow citizens, fostering a community where empathy and support prevail.

We must empower women with the necessary resources, knowledge, and support,” she said.

The Governor’s wife announced that her office will work hand in hand with local farmers, engage in sustainable agricultural practices, and implement programs that empower individuals and communities to secure their food sources.

She commended the state Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah’,  for various transformative measures his administration had put in place which  included the establishment of a rapid response team to tackle the menace of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Enugu State, the payment of 450 million naira for Nigeria for Women projects (NFWP) for the benefit of Enugu women.

“Women’s inclusion and empowerment are at the core of His Excellency’s mandate, recognising the importance of gender equality and women’s pivotal role,” Mrs Mbah said 

“Let us continue to strive to ensure the genuine inclusion of every woman in society and for a world where no one is left behind in the journey towards a hunger-free society. Happy International Women’s Day!, She said.

In her speech, the Commissioner for children , Gender and Social Development, Mrs Ngozi Enih, said tthe event was to celebrate social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, while also recognizing the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

She said Enugu State in ensuring gender equality has supported women’s economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and skill development programs, also has provided 24 hours rescue to GBV cases.

“”Today, as we unfurl the banner of “Count Her In”, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that every woman and girl in Enugu State is included, valued, and empowered to reach her full potential. In Enugu State, we recognize that achieving true gender equality requires a collective effort from all sectors of society, the government, civil society, NGO’s, private sector and individuals alike, we must work together to challenge harmful stereotypes, dismantle systemic barriers, and create an environment where women can participate fully and equally in all aspects of life.

“The theme “Inspire Inclusion” and the State theme “Count her in” reminds us of the importance of creating a society where every individual, regardless of gender, has equal opportunities to thrive. Inclusion is not merely about inviting women to the table; it’s about ensuring that their voices are heard, their contributions are recognized, and their rights are protected. It’s about tearing down the barriers of discrimination and prejudice that hinder women’s progress and denying them opportunities.

“Today, let us celebrate the achievements of women who have blazed trails and broken barriers, inspiring us all with their courage, resilience, and determination. But let us also acknowledge that the journey towards gender equality is far from over. We must redouble our efforts to address the intersecting forms of discrimination that disproportionately affect women and girls, including those based on race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

“As we raise our voices in solidarity with women everywhere, let us alsoreflect on the progress we have made and the challenges that lie ahead. Let this International Women’s Day serve as a reminder of our shared commitment to building a more inclusive, equitable, and just society for all,” Enih said.

She called for support for  gender equality , saying,  “Let us strive to “Count Her In” in every decision, every policy, and every aspect of our society. Together, we can inspire inclusion, empower women, and create a brighter future for generations to come.

In her Goodwill message, Chief of UNICEF Field Office,  Mrs Juliet Chiluwe,  said, ‘ UNICEF’s firm belief that an investment that pays dividends for all of us is the Adolescent girl. 

“With the right support, protection and opportunity, adolescent girls are the changemakers, leaders and community-builders of today and tomorrow. She’s the solution to poverty, economic productivity, climate innovation, improved health and education outcomes and even more,”.

She observed that  the adolescent girls often fall through the cracks of public policy and domestic and donor budgets. “They face unique vulnerabilities and disproportionate inequalities, and their rights and gender equality are being undermined  UNICEF affirms its stand to push back against the rollback in girls’ rights and call for greater investment to protect and promote these rights by taking the following measures:.

“Highlight the backslide in adolescent girls’ rights and the discrimination, unique vulnerability, and disproportionate inequalities they face.

Use UNICEF’s voice to challenge the idea of adolescent girls as disempowered by standing up for girls in every community and promoting their voices and ideas.

Rally support for girl-led groups and organizations.

Papers were presented on ” Gender issues and inclusion” by Dr. Stella Agbani, ” Women in Entrepreneurship Space by Dr. Mrs Chioma Nicholas Mbah’,  and ” Women in Politics and Policy Decision making  by Mrs Nnenna Anozie 

Highlights of the event were presentation of awards to Awardees, empowerment o women trained in vocational skills and cultural dance presentation

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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