In line with its mandate to increase women’s participation in governance, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development organized a town hall meeting on Wednesday 3rd June, 2015 at Firisika Polo in Marine Base Community, Port Harcourt. The meeting is in furtherance to the advocacy visit to Polo Chairmen within Marine Base community which was held on the 29th April 2015.
The Director of Programmes, CEHRD (Styvn Obodoekwe) in his key note address read by Patience Ekong of Gender and Development Action, (GADA), encouraged community women to stand up to their responsibility and support one another to get adequately involved in community governance. He acknowledged increasing level of awareness and interventions at different levels, which are all directed at increasing the interest and involvement of women in governance.
In her contributions during the meeting, the chairperson National Association of Women Journalists, Rivers State chapter – Lilian Okonkwo challenged women to take part in the current trend of efforts directed at given women opportunity to take-up leadership positions. She maintained that women need to show the capacity of leadership which will bring them to the lime-light. She appealed to Polo chairmen and other community stakeholders to ensure they are gender sensitive in the community governance structure, saying that women could be very helpful in giving support to developing their community if given opportunity and support.
This opportunity for participation, according to her, will further help women build-up their capacity and confidence to take-up higher governance responsibilities. She called on men to give every necessary support to women, particularly those who have what it takes to be involved, which includes – confidence, intellectual capacity and other leadership qualities.
The highpoint of the meeting was the setting up of WIGN steering committee to strengthen the network and provide the much-needed support to engage stakeholders on issues affecting women, particularly on increasing women participation in governance.