LAPO Honours Three Outstanding Women, Seeks Gender Balance

LAPO has honoured three women who have distinguished themselves in their public, business and professional careers with oustanding impact on people and communities.

Hon (Mrs.)Patience Omorogiuwa Adamu, Oti Justina Onyenaturuchi and Esther Agbonzikilo received the prestigious LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Awards (LOWLA) under the Public, Business and Professional Life categories, respectively. The Award was instituted in 2013 as a part of theorganization’s activities to mark the International Women’s Day.

Speaking, LAPO Founder, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe emphasized the need to eliminate obnoxious socio-cultural practices, political exclusion and economic lopsidedness which often subjugate and hinder the progress of women, adding 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 made progress worth emulating and emerging as influential forces in their chosen careers with keen interest in leadership and decision making.

Dr. Ehigiamusoe said contributing to the advancement of women has been most gratifying for LAPO 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.

“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”.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting Chairperson, LAPO Board of Directors, Mrs. Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe said the organization is committed to the social, health and economic empowerment of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria, adding that LAPO screened 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.

She said 1,475,951 women and other vulnerable community members across the country were empowered with health and social services in year 2017 while 108,367 rural farmers were supported with the sum of N5.7 billion by the LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative, (LARDI).

She congratulated winners of the 6th edition of LOWLA and encouraged them to continue with the good work and mentor other upcoming women.
In her paper titled, “Fundamentals of Progress for Nigerian Women”, Grace Osakue, Chairperson, Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), a 2013 recipient of the award emphasized the need to invest in today’s girl child which she described as a sure way of engendering progress for tomorrow’s women.