I am very delighted that our 2018 Mothers’ Summit has attracted distinguished guests and special friends from across our great country to participate in our annual women’s day of dialogue in Anambra State. This year’s edition of the summit which heralds August Meetings in our communities has the potentialities of being recorded as the most successful in our history as a state.
I am happy to note that the theme of the Summit; Sustaining Women Participation in Politics: Prospects and Challenges is very apt and timely. I followed the discussions by the various speakers, especially the Keynote presentation, with keen interest. I believe that most of you have learnt new things and are inspired by the positives. I urge you to be change agents by increasing your personal contributions through active participation in community and national development.
It is important to note that Anambra State under the able leadership of my dear husband, Chief Willie Obiano, has made quantum leap in recognition and appointment of women in key positions of responsibility in the last four years. Today, with over 35% ratio in appointments in leadership positions in state, Anambra has crossed the national threshold.
Ndi Nne, I am proud to attest that our Governor is not relenting in his desire to ensure that our women with proven qualities get the necessary encouragement and level playing field to aspire to leadership at all levels. I therefore have no doubt that in our state, not even the sky limits any woman who demonstrates keen interest and premium capacity for political leadership. So I say: Firmly tie your wrapper and go for it!
On my part, I follow my passion by using the platform of my NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), to work for the welfare of our women at various levels. CAFÉ remains increasingly committed to improving the fortunes of our less fortunate citizens. You may wish to know that we have so far trained and empowered over 4000 women and youths in various trades.
CAFÉ has built and handed over 12 decent houses to indigent widows; 9 others in different communities would soon be completed and duly handed over. We have treated and rehabilitated 62 mentally challenged persons at our Home in Nteje. CAFÉ has, among other things, constructed 15 modern toilets in rural markets, as well as sunk 21 boreholes in communities across the twenty-one local Government Areas of our state.
My plea is that as we depart here, we should not forget that the best way of measuring the impact of 2018 Mothers’ Summit is through a recognizable increase in our women’s participation in vibrant and responsible leadership activities across the states and at the national level, particularly as the tempo of 2019 political activities continues to rise.
As we embark on the simultaneous August meetings in communities across the South East, we must remember that there is no other group better placed to carry the message of peace and advocacy for greater role for women in politics and leadership than all of us. I therefore urge us to rise to the challenge of partaking in societal rebirth that we so urgently need.
Finally, it is my belief that we can garner more positive outcomes, like we had today, by taking advantage of the current cooperation among our women; by organizing a pan-South East Summit for women to be hosted in rotation among the states. Such a forum, with high impact cultural value, will be a major boost to the politics and economy of the zone as our women start speaking with one voice on key issues.
Thank you for your attention and God Bless.
Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano
Wife of Governor, Anambra State