UYO – The wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio, has advocated for adequate involvement of women in the governance of the country at all levels.
Akpabio who made the call during a thanksgiving held at the Apostolic Church, Uyo, as part of activities marking the 2015 International Women’s Day, said that women should not be seen as house wives only.
The wife of the Governor said that the theme for this year which is “Empowering Women- Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” was apt, and needed to be implemented by everybody.
“Empowering womanhood will not only mean progress for women, but also progress for humanity in general because when women are well positioned economically, socially and politically, the family and the community are also empowered,” she said.
She said that the women of the state had broken gender barriers to emerge as trusted partners with their male counterparts in the business of governance in the state.
“Today, we have an unprecedented number of Akwa Ibom women in elective and appointive positions, a tribute to the gender-responsive disposition of the Akpabio administration.” She added.
The wife of the governor also said that the current administration had significantly reduced maternal mortality through its free medical care programme for pregnant women.
She also noted that thousands of women had benefitted from empowerment programmes, such as the Women Agro-Entrepreneurship Development Programme (WAEDEP) and several loans and grants geared towards improving their living standard.
She lamented that women were still being abused in the society, noting that cases of rape and other forms of gender-based violence, were on the increase in the country.
“I lend my voice to the call for the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill, before the National Assembly, because it will go a long way in protecting our women and girls from abuse,” she said.
In his sermons, Pastor Samuel Isaiah, who took his teachings from Galatians Chapter 4: 1-7, said that when “God wants to change the world, he ensures that the women are empowered”.
He said any country that did not empower its womenfolk, was at a loss, adding that God embedded so many qualities in the lives of women for the betterment of the society.