BENIN CITY– Four Women who have become Outstanding in their chosen Fields of human endeavour have received the 2023 LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award.

The Award, instituted by Lift Above Poverty Organization ( LAPO) in 2013, is part of the Organization’s activities to commemorate the annual International Women’s Day, whose 2023 theme is: “Embracing Equity: Issues and Way Forward”

In the Lifetime Achievement Category, LAPO Co-founder and wife of the Founder, Mrs Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe was adjudged the Winner; in the Professional category, Proprietor of Anchor International School, Kogi, Matthias Azuni Helen was declared winner; Chinyere Gladys Okoro won in the Business Category; while Mary Durodola Jackson clinched the award in the Farming Category.

Except for Mrs Ehigiamusoe, all other Winners in addition to the plaque, received N300,000 each.

In his welcome address, LAPO Founder, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe congratulated the awardees, saying ” the celebration of the LAPO Outstanding Women Leadership Award is a testimony of the strength of our conviction in women’s empowerment and contributions to societal advancement”.

Globally, one third of women have experienced a form of violence from their spouse and an estimated over 130 women are killed by their partners or a family member every day.”

He disclosed that over 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action; progress towards equal rights for women still remains elusive across countries.

He added: ” If we fail to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discriminations, draw attention to biases, and seek out inclusion, we may not be able to achieve the desired progress including the SDGs.”

In his remarks, Chairman, Board of Directors, LAPO, Dr. Osarenren Emokpae lauded the awardees for their sheer determination, hard work and uncommon commitment in surmounting the obstacles to attain success in their various fields of human endeavours.

He revealed that the 2023 award winners have brought the total number of awardees to 37 women since the award was instituted in 2013.

He said, “a lot of progress has been made in the struggle to free women from the clutches of discrimination and abuse, this day reminds us that much work lies ahead to achieve true gender rights and equity in Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general.”

A keynote lecture on the theme of this year’s IWD: “Embracing Equity: Issues and Way Forward” was delivered by Professor Adefunke Adekunle, Director of Gender Institute, UNIBEN while Prof. Stella Chiemeke, Vice Chancellor, University of Delta, Agbor, Delta State chaired the occasion.

LAPO Co-founder and Award Winner, Mrs Elizabeth Ngozi Ehigiamusoe who spoke on behalf of other Awardees, appreciated the Planning Committee for counting them worthy and promised to continue to impart the society in their various spheres of influence.