Job Osazuwa

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), has charged women to strive for greatness in whatever they do.

The organisation gave the charge when it gathered the women of Topa community in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State, to mark the International Women’s Day, which was observed on March 8.

The regional manager of the NGO, Mrs. Vivian O. Evbotokhai, said the programme was to honour and celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women in Nigeria and across the world.

As she urged the participants not to hide their potential, she said that the day was set aside to re-echo women’s rights, equality, empowerment and social justice. 

She stated that women have shown that they could excel, if given the chance, and implored them to always explore opportunities whenever they arise.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Balance for better,” while LAPO titled its programmes “Balance for peace.”

According to Evbotokhai, if equal opportunity is given to male and female in many ways, there would be peace in communities and the world at large. She added that women were peace-loving people.

The executive director of LAPO, Mr. Sabina Idowu-Osehobo, who was represented by Mrs. Paula Aniobi, encouraged the women to continue to toe the path of peace and make the world a beautiful place for all to live in. 

According to Idowu-Osehobo, the organisation would continue to display unflinching commitment to the social, health and economic empowerment of poor and vulnerable people, especially Nigerian women. 

“As a development organisation, LAPO is fully committed to addressing the marginalisation of women, and has for decades been at the forefront of the struggle to promote legal and policy reforms and supporting projects that empower women socially and economically,” he said.

In her address, the guest speaker on the occasion, executive director of People Empowerment Organisation, Mrs. Philomena Okure, said there was a plethora of data that demonstrates that women’s economic participation grows society, creates jobs and builds inclusive prosperity.

“As essential as women’s equality is for growth, it is often stymied by discriminatory laws, customs, and structural barriers that restrict women from full participation in the formal economy.

“The international community has acknowledged the essential role that women play in peace and prosperity, which is particularly evident in conflict zones. Countries that value and empower women to participate fully in decision-making are more stable, prosperous and secure. 

“Where women and girls can access education and employment alongside men and boys, countries are more likely to prosper. Yet, women in many countries still lack access to education and vocational training. Even where laws exist to protect women from harm, enforcement is often lacking.

“LAPO’s theme, “Balance for peace,” is most appropriate, going by what is happening in the world today, especially in Nigeria, with violence and killings by terrorists, and communal wars.

“Empowering women and girls worldwide is strategic and smart. No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its population behind, because a balanced world is a better world.”

Chairman of Badagry Local Government Area, Seliat Adeniran Oloyede, who was represented by Mrs. Risikat Padonu-Hassan, commended LAPO for the gesture. She said the people of Badagry were pleased by how the organisation was impacting on the lives of women in the area. 

She encouraged women to learn how to build support for themselves, especially in political participation. 

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