July 1, 2022 7:21 pm

WACOL Inaugurates 50/50 Action Women In Abia State

By Our Reporter

An advocacy group, 50/50 Action Women been been inaugurated officially in Abia State with a charge to push to end cultural norms and practices reinforcing violence against women and girls.

Inaugurating the group in Umuahia during a two day Women’s Right, Leadership and Advocacy Training for the elimination of violence against women and girls in Abia State, the Chief Executive Officer of Women Aid Collective, WACOL Prof. Joy Ezeilo represented by the WACOL Programme Officer, Mrs Ijeoma Uzoeshi also challenged members of the advocacy group to lead the process of change in social norms and codification of laws.

She charged the women to own the project as they will be the ones that will go into the various communities to educate and liberate the women through the assistance of the key influencers.

Her words, “We are fighting the fight that our children will no longer fight and in this fight, a lot of things will be encountered. I encourage you to forge ahead and WACOL in collaboration with Ford Foundation will give you the technical support needed to accomplish this Mission”.
Ezeilo lauded the women for understanding the Mission and volunteering to join in the strategic advocacy.
Contributing, the WACOL Head of Communications, Egodi Igwe charged the advocacy group to work together with the relevant ministries as they cannot do it all alone but needs other groups for collaboration in order to actualize/realize the change women desired.

Earlier the participants were enlightened to understand how to be strategic in selecting key influencers and partners for achieving specified goals, in a lecture titled, “Networking and Collaborating for Change”, delivered by one of the resource persons, Dr. Uche Nwoke.
Also in a lecture titled, “Advocacy and Lobbying”, Dr. Uche Nwoke harped the need for the participants to understand critical issues for advocacy and develop strategies to engage gatekeepers, duty bearers and their key influencers including setting advocacy targets and messaging.
Meanwhile, members of the newly inaugurated 50/50 Action Women have expressed their preparedness and readiness to bring about the needed change in the society.
Some members of the Advocacy group who interacted with our correspondent barred their minds:
Mrs Felicia Dimgba, an elder of the Presbyterian Church Nigeria said, “50/50 Action Women is going to be a reality in Abia State because WACOL has torched and touched the needs of the women. What we are pursuing is for the benefit of the women. We are now going to stand as a group.
“As a community leader, I and my secretary is planning on how to go back to Igbere in Bende L.G.A, of Abia State to call the women from the 13 autonomous communities together and inform them that the answer to our problems have come. The answer has been showcased here. All that have been discussed here are the things that are happening among the women in our various communities. Women are not given the opportunity to showcase their God given talents because of our cultural inclinations and inhibitions. Most of us can perform better than the men and this is an eye opener, with 50/50 Action Women we are moving on. We know our problems and we now have a voice”.
The Abia State Coordinator of Gender and Constitution Review Network, Lady Ogbo Kalu from Ohafia L.G.A, of Abia State also said, “The training came at the right time because a lot of things are going on in our society and women don’t really understand what their rights are. Now, we will go to the grassroots to educate them on their rights”.
Lady Eunice Nwigwe, President National Council of Women Society, NCWS Abia State chapter has this to say, “Today, we have been inaugurated as members of the 50/50 Action Women in Abia State. Precisely, we have been zoned into three Senatorial districts of the state and I belonged to the Abia South zone. In this inauguration, we were charged to go into action, to make sure that anything that is surrounding the issue of violence against women and girls are been tackled, starting from the grassroots to the local government and state levels. We are to focus on the stakeholders, the key influencers to help us bring about the change. We want women to enjoy their rights wherever they find themselves in the society”.
Lady Elizabeth Uhuegbu, Special Adviser to the Abia State Governor on Rural Women also said, “I am an advocate of gender sensitivity, equal opportunity for both boys and girls. As a woman leader of my community in Ubakala, Umuahia South L.G.A, of Abia State, there is need for me to get this information which I have gotten to add to what I already have. It is going to help me especially as the August women conference is approaching. I will use the knowledge I acquired here to reach out to women in Umuahia South”.
Respectively, Lady Uhuegbu and a member of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Barr. Mrs Chinyere Okezie Nwoko lauded the WACOL team for their selfless task and prayed God to give members of the 50/50 Action Women divine strength to carry on and implement all they have been exposed to.

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