By Margaret Asikong, CRS- MOI Officer reporting from the Office of the wife of the Governor.

Wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Linda Ayade has charged Cross River State women to be resilient, bold and start changing the narrative  from their homes, as well as unite together to support their fellow women.

The Governor’s wife gave the charge recently in Calabar during an interactive session by the wife of the Governor and female leaders in the State to explore the significant/global developments around the advancement of women for the year 2020, as well as speak out against the high incidence of violence against women and girls, as part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated last Sunday-9/03/2020 with the theme “ I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” which was held at the premises of the office of the wife of the Governor.in Calabar
According to her, IWD 2020 is very special since it marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adding that all across the nations women have been underscored, marginalized and not being allowed to be what God created them to be, hence the reason for the inequality.

 She maintained that an average woman is an intelligent being, very organized and can handle any task given to her efficiently, while expressing sadness that the women are rather afraid due to intimidation and opposition and challenges.

Dr. Ayade called on women to put away cowardice and be firm, standing by what they know is true, for she cannot support anything evil, except a just cause while enjoining them to look out for the weaker ones amongst them especially at the grassroots and help to lift them up, which according to her, is the purpose of initiating Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI) for the emancipation of women economically, politically, socially and otherwise, adding that, as a feminist and champion of the women of CRS, she will continue in the fight for gender equality and violence against women and girls, while thanking all present for honouring the invitation.
In a presentation on the 2020 International Women’s Day; efforts at addressing the theme of the IWD, the women’s voice and leadership project and spot light project/women for women-CRS (W4Wc), Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo and Ms Francisca Effiom stated that Generation Equality tackles issues of women across generations, from early to late years, with young women and girls at the centre, adding that 2020 is a massive year  for gender equality, with the benefits for everyone whose lives will be changed by a fairer world that leaves no one behind and not just for women and girls, amongst other things.

In their remarks, the Commissioners for Women Affairs, Hon. Rita Ayim, and that of Local Government Affairs, Hon. Stella Odey-Ekpo, her counter part in Health, Dr. Betta Edu, that of Commence, Barr.(Mrs) RoseMary Archibong  and other female Commissioners, as well as the member representing Yala 2 constituency in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Regina Anyogor and other Speakers shared their experiences that define Cross River State, what they are doing, including successes and challenges as it relates to women and violence against them, amongst others, while also thanking Dr. Linda Ayade for championing the cause of women in the State and her dear husband Sir Ben Ayade for giving them the opportunities to serve in various  capacities. 

Earlier in her remark, the Special Adviser to the wife of the Governor on Events, Hon. Torita Odey used the occasion to welcome all the female leaders present to the interactive session, highlighting the purpose of the meeting. 

In the vote of thanks, the Special Adviser to the wife of the Governor on Administration, Mrs. Philomena Inyang expressed thanks to all the women leaders for finding time to come and discuss on sensitive issues that affect the women and girls, while also expressing thanks to Dr. Ayade for the great work she is doing.


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