By Sylvia Etta
The founder of ‘WIPE A TEAR TODAY INITIATIVE’, a non-governmental organization advocating for the rights of widows, Ms. Theresa Udie, has urged the men-folk to continue to appreciate the roles that women play as equal partners in all sectors of development.
The Obudu born activist spoke during the one year anniversary celebration of the organization which held at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers Abuja on Thursday October 16, 2014.
According to Ms. Udie, while women remain the primary caretakers for most of the world’s children and elderly, much of their work is not valued; not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders.
“At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running countries.
“Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated; they are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation.
“Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not. Speaking to you today, I speak for them, just as each of us here may end up taking the ambassadorial role of speaking for women around the world who are denied the chance to go to school, or see a doctor, or own property, or have a say about the direction of their lives, simply because they are women.
“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”
She explained that the goal of her organization is to strengthen families and societies by empowering women to take greater control over their own destinies arguing that this goal cannot be fully achieved unless we all accept our responsibility to protect and promote widow’s human rights.
“And if there is one message I wish to echo here today, it is that human rights are women’s rights…. And women’s rights are human rights.” She exclaimed.
Guests at the event included: Major Lancelot Anyanya(Rtd), Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Oil Spill and Detection and Response Agency, Dr. Duru Godwin Chinedu, Director at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Princess Rabi Ibrahim MON, National Coordinator, Women For Change Initiative in Nigeria, Rev. Joshua Talena, Founder/General Overseer, Shepherd’s House Assembly International Abuja, Dr. Dorn Cklaimz Enamhe, Special Adviser on Youth Matters to Coss River State Governor among others.
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