By Lucky Isibor,
The Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change, (FGGSC) a non-governmental organization based in Benin City, Edo state has honoured seven Edo women for their outstanding contributions to child protection, promotion of girl-chid education and women rights in it’s annual award ceremony.
The 2019 FGGSC annual award with the theme “Mainstreaming Gender Contribution to Development” held at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre Saturday, 28 September, 2019, referenced seven women who have devoted the last three decades to advancing women’s rights and the girl-chid education.
Welcoming guests and awardees to the occasion, Austin Osakue, Executive Director, Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change lamented that our society for too long has paraded miscreants and rascals as role models, adding that the award is one of it’s efforts in correcting that anomaly and parade people who have character and integrity as role models.
“For too long this society has presented rascals as role models. We need to show that apart from the rascals there are people who have character, who have integrity that can be presented as role models and to recognise that these women, the awardees for the past three decades have devoted themselves to the promotion and defence of women rights and the pursuit of girl-child education.”
While emphasising that the award is at no cost to the recipients, Osakue disclosed that this year’s award focused on women as a wake up call on all women to confront the renewed incidences of rape, defilement and incest which has assumed a crisis dimension.
“It’s at no cost at all. We also want to show that you don’t need to pay for awards. If you pay for an award then you don’t deserve it. That’s why we accompany our awards with plaques, portraits and transport fares.
“We focused on women because of the crisis that we’re entering, the share increase in the incidence of rape, defilement and incest, men impregnating their daughters.
“So it’s gender mainstreaming, to send a message to women out there that they must join these ones we are honouring to fight these course, but if we don’t, our values are going to be debased and the family will brake down completely”, he said.
In his remarks, chairman on the occasion, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, a former Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice noted that the award is to tell women the society appreciate their contributions in alleviating the plight of the downtrodden.
While urging all hands to be on deck for the protection of women and children’s rights, Obayuwana appealed to men not to vent their anger engendered by failure in governance on their wives, mother’s and sisters.
The Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Affairs, Mrs. Maria Edeko thanked the awardees for their efforts over the years.
The Commissioner who was represented by Mrs. Ihensekhien, a director in the ministry also eulogised the foundation for the awards noting it will inspire them and other women to do more.
The Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Gender Affairs, Hon. Efosa Uyigue, harped on the need to equip the girl-chid with adequate education so that she can avail herself of several opportunities.
Uyigue appealed to employers of domestic staff to assist them get education as such gestures will improve our society.
The awardees are Serbena Osehobo, an Executive Director of Lift Above Poverty Organization,(LAPO), Dr. Nosa Aladaselu, Jennifer Ero and Jane Osagie.
Others are Stella Ojeme, a legal practitioner and former Chairperson of Internaltion Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA), Abiola Idufueko and Ruth Evon Benson-Idahosa.
In her reaction, one of the awardees, Serbina Osehobo thanked the foundation for the award assuring it will spur her to do more. She also thanked the chairman and founder of Lift Above Poverty Organisation, (LAPO) Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe for providing her the platform to assist and mentor women to be self reliant.
High point of the ceremony was the presentation of awards to the recipients who were accompanied by their family members, friends and colleagues.