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Categories : Daily Independent

Date : March 21st, 2018

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Benin – In the bid to sustain its long tradition of empowering the people, Lift Poverty Organisation, (LAPO), keyed into the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, (IWD), to organise the 6th Edition of its Annual Outstanding Women Leadership Award.   

The lucky winners of this year’s LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award Hon are Mrs.  Patience Omorogiuwa Adamu, Ms Oti Justina Onyenaturuchi and Miss Esther Agbonzikilo. The three women, no doubt,  stood tall among other Women in the state capital, as they were onoured with various prizes,   including cash . They were recognised by LAPO for excelling in their various professions. While Mrs. Patience Omorogiuwa Adamu was presented with the Public Life Category award, Ms Oti Justina Onyenaturuchi and Miss Esther Agbonzikilo got business and Professional category awards, respectively.

In a lead paper titled “ Fundamentals Of Progress For Nigerian Women” presented by Grace Osakue, Chairperson, Girls’ Power Executive Board and 2013 LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award recipient, she emphasized the need to invest in today’s girl child which she described as a sure way of engendering progress for tomorrow’s women.

Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Chairman, Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) in his address emphasized the need to eliminate cultural practices that often render women unrecognised and subservient to their male counterparts. He said the cultural practices have made it difficult for women to participate in political and economic activities and live a productive life while their contributions to the formal sectors of the economy is not taken note of by many people in the society, adding that even their efforts in farming activities are equally not recognised. 

Dr. Ehigiamusoe also noted that in Nigeria, obnoxious social norms, political exclusion and economic lopsidedness hinder the efforts of women in public life.  He added that an average Nigerian woman is challenged with issues of violence, disinheritance, forced marriage, wife inheritance, harsh widowhood practices, sexual harassment, rape and human trafficking among others.

He explained that within this framework of impossibilities and limitations set by social structures and cultures, women have created personal lives worth emulating and are emerging as influential forces in their chosen careers; with keen interest in leadership and decision making.

“For us in LAPO, contributing to the advancement of women has been most rewarding as we have witnessed women with poor socio-economic and health status transform to highly motivated women with more control over their lives, and those of their children while contributing their own quota to national growth and development.

Ehigiamusoe recalled that “The LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award was instituted in 2013 specifically to recognize and celebrate Nigerian women who have distinguished themselves and recorded outstanding successes in their Business, Professional and Public Lives.

“The organization is currently implementing a massive cancer awareness programme tagged the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control, (LAPO C4). The project which is aimed at reducing cancer-related deaths in Lagos, Rivers, Edo, Imo and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in partnership with 13 Community-Based Organizations has benefited 22,835,703 people between November 2016 and December 2017. Screening has been conducted for 11,620 persons comprising 10,312 females and 1,308 males.

We also sensitized 2,882 women in 2017 on the dangers and solutions available for abused women and girls with free Legal Aid rendered to 32 females on various issues including spousal abuse and violence.

“As we celebrate the International Women’s Day this year, we enjoin all stakeholders to take urgent steps towards creating a world with gender balanced leadership, respect and values that uphold the rights and dignity of women. We celebrate the award winners of today who through sheer determination, hard work and uncommon commitment have surmounted obstacles to become successful in their various endeavors”.

Also in her address, Mrs. Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe, Chairperson LAPO, said, “LAPO is a non-governmental organization committed to the social, health and economic empowerment of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria. Said she, “The Outstanding Women Leadership Award was initiated in 2013 to honour and celebrate women who have distinguished themselves in their careers and business organizations with sustainable social impact and since inception of the program, fifteen women have won the award. Today’s programme will bring the number to eighteen women.

“In line with our mission of improving lives and empowering women, LAPO provided screening services to 187,752 women for common diseases including HIV, malaria, blood pressure (BP), blood sugar, hepatitis and diabetes with 3,386 beneficiaries referred for treatment in government-approved hospitals.

“I am glad to inform you that, 1,475,951 women and other vulnerable community members across the country were empowered with health and social services while 108,367 rural farmers were supported with the sum of N5.7 billion from LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative, (LARDI).

I want to applaud the winners of this year’s 6th edition of the award, Hon. Mrs. Patience Adamu, Esther Agbonzikilo, Oti Justina who have immensely contributed to the society through their outstanding performances in their chosen endeavours. We encourage them to continue with the good work and to mentor other upcoming women”. She declared.

The post LAPO Honours Three Outstanding Women In Edo To Mark 2018 IWD appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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