By Victoria Onehi
A Philanthropist and Entrepreneur, Mrs Ruth Davies Ibiamu, has been sworn-in as Chairperson, League of Women voters of Nigeria (NILOWV), Rivers State chapter.
At the inauguration of the National Executives in Abuja on Thursday, Ibiamu said her appointment as the Chairperson of the League in Rivers State is is a call to duty and action to mobilise women at the state and local government level for governance.
” We will mobilise women in the grassroot to participate in the electoral process and to vote for other women. We need to go down to that woman in the community to let her know that her vote counts and make her understand that her voice is needed. So, in my tenure as the Chairman of NILOWV in Rivers State, I intend to go down to the grassroots.” She said.
During her swearing-in alongside other States Chairpersons, the new President of NILOWV, Mrs Irene Awunah-Ikyegh, said the inauguration of a new National executive committee marks the commencement of a new leadership regime which would be hinged on the pillars of enhanced partnership, accountability, inclusion and collective decision making everyones’ opinion is prioritised.
Ikyegh said the League of Women voters of Nigeria is an all-female organisation founded in 1996 by Dame Dr Esther Uduehi following the end of the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing China in 1995,to help women play a larger role in Government and Public Affairs in Nigeria in consonance with the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for action.
In her address,the Country Representative UN Women, Ms Beatrice Eyong who was represented by the Team Leader Governance ,UN Women,Zaphaniah Aura, said the League has played and will continue to play a convening role in catalysing the work of various women movements, coalitions and networks to achieve fair representation of women in leadership and political.
” At UN Women, we believe that no nation can achieve sustainable development and flourish if women are excluded, and their voice is not influencing conversation around governance and leadership processes.”Aura said.
The Deputy Speaker,Hon.Benjamin Kalu who was represented by Dr Lilian Agbazue, said the House of Representatives has taken several initiatives to review laws and sections of the Constitution on gender- sensitive legislation and affirmative action.
” It is high time we include more women in governance,both in terms of appointments and elective positions.When we do this,you will find out that we will have a better country.” Agbazue said.
The Key-note Speaker and Federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Hon.Ginika Tor urged the new National executive of NILOWV to carry every woman along at every level tasking them to be very functional in their new roles.