As part of the preparation for the 2024 International Women’s Day Celebration slated for March 8th, 2024, the Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA) has recognised and honoured with awards of Excellence two women working to promote peace, security, and empowerment of women in Edo state and Nigeria in general. The awardees include- Mrs Susan Bolajoko Adegboye- Chairperson of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), and ACP Evelyn Anwulika Odubenu- Area Commander, Ekiadolor Police Command.

According to the Founder of ECOWA- Dr. Mrs. Louisa Eikhomun-Agbonkhese, “ECOWA is doing this as a pre-activity towards the International Women’s Day Celebration coming up in a month on March 8, 2024, with the theme ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progres’.

“We are recognising and celebrating women who are supporting women as change makers and leading the efforts to tackle women’s poverty, inequality, and insecurity in fulfillment of the Edo State Gender Policy duly adopted by the Edo State Government in 2023, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 5) on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality as well as the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR 1325) on women in peace support operations, duly domesticated by the Nigerian Government with a National Action Plan (NAP).
“With this award, we welcome and recognise the efforts of Mrs. Susan Adegboye on women empowerment especially for vulnerable women in Edo state, especially as we prepare for International Women’s Day. We use this medium to encourage POWA to partner with ECOWA in providing support services to indigent survivors of domestic violence.

“We also congratulate ACP Evelyn Anwulika Odubenu, on her promotion to the esteemed position of an Area Commander, Ekiadolor Police Command in Edo State. Her contribution to women and girls’ protection in the line of duty and as a passion, is deserving of the award we hereto present to her. We encourage you to do more for women in preventing and responding to gender-based violence in Edo State”.

While reacting, the POWA boss said the award would motivate her to do more in empowering the women in the State. She said many women are at home out of ignorance, not knowing what to do.

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“My coming to Edo State is to bring them out, letting them know they can do better than what they are presently doing.

“My women are starting their training by February, to end in May. The whole of Edo State will see what we’ve done to upgrade our women in the State. This training will help in giving them hope and life,” she said.

Also speaking, the Area Commander of Ekiadolor Police Command- ACP Evelyn Anwulika Odubenu thanked the Founder of ECOWA, Dr. Mrs. Louisa Eikhomun-Agbonkhese for the award and said the award will push her further to assist women, not only those in the Police Force or POWA Edo State, but women in general, especially those under her jurisdiction.

“We will continue to partner with ECOWA in promoting the UNSCR 1325”, Odubenu stressed.