March 8 marks the International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.The Morgan Smart Development Foundation once again joined women all over World, particularly in Nigeria to commemorate the 2018 International Women’s Day with the UN theme “Press for Progress” in Warri, Delta State on 8th&9thMarch, 2018. This year’s theme, “Press for Progress” marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity; and provides an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.

The foundation’s 2018 celebrations kicked off on the 8th of March with an “Exhibition Fare” organized in collaboration with the“Delta Association Of Chambers Of Commerce”to showcase the goods and services of women entrepreneurs, while exposing them to potential markets and offering opportunities to network, and a lecture on “Combatting Domestic And Gender Based Violence” By Bridget AffiahOf Ideal Women Advancement Initiative; the day’s events also include “Free Medical Screening for High Blood Pressure and Hypertension, Diabetics, Health Counselling conducted by Capitol Hill Clinic\Hospitals, Warri”; “Free Eye Examination conducted by Salvation Eye Services”, Warri and a Bazaar Sales of clothes at giveaway prices

On the 9thof March, the celebrations continued with thought-provoking presentations and interactive sessions led by inspirational women, leaders in their field, women changing the world, the discussions centered around contemporary issues affecting women, such as the “Press For Progress” theme, and a documentary presentation on “The Plight Of Women In The Niger Delta”. Each year, the Foundation invites exceptional women to inspire and share their own personal message with other women about their career path and how they have been able to succeed in their fields  despite the challenges faced just by being a woman, notable women at this year’s event, include Prof. Mary Olire Edema, Provost College of Education, Warri,(represented by Mrs. Hope Salami, Director of Linkages and Gender Studies, COE, Warri) as Keynote Address speaker, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu, OmuOkpanam and OmuAnioma, as Chairman of the occasion, Olori Mary Emiko , the Wife of the Olu of Warri as the “Royal Mother”of the day, Representative of the Delta State Commissioner for women’s affair, Mrs. Patricia Gbemudu, Delta State President of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs. Patricia Idiakoha, Delta Association Of Chambers Of Commerce, Mrs. FejiroUgute, MD  Coastline Micro Finance Bank, amongst other notable personalities

In her opening remarks, President\CEO of Morgan Smart Development Foundation, Dr. Omawumi Evelyn AtsiangbeUrhobo, reminded the women that the IWD is a day set aside by the UN to appraise how far women have gone in the bid for equity and charged the women to continue to press for progress, regardless of the social, cultural and religious limitations; the call for gender parity should continue to be pursued vigorously. The representative of the Commissioner for women affairs applauded the foundation for their commitment to women empowerment and went on to promise future partnership and collaboration with the ministry for subsequent IWDcelebrations. In her keynote address, Prof. Edema highlighted some challenges facing the Nigerian women, as discovered by research to include; discrimination, cultural limitations, literacy level, exploitation, politics, crises, and loss of family values and went on to recommend solutions to these problems. The chairman of the occasion, Obi Martha Dunkwu (OmuOkpanam and OmuAnioma), in her address, advised women who have made it to the top to make themselves available as mentors to other women, sharing experience and information, as information is power, she also re-echoed previous speakers by appealing to women to support women in politics, so that they can feel a sense of belonging.

The occasion was also used to empower about 20 Women, who are going to be sponsored for 3 months mentorship/Apprenticeship training on specific trades/skills.

About 200 women participated in the two days event holding at the Morgan Smart Women and Youths Empowerment Resource Centre at 23, Oki Street, off Okere Road, Okere Warri.

The Morgan Smart Development Foundation (MSDF) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the socio-economic uplifting, development and capacity building of vulnerable women and youths in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. We are always open to sponsorship and partnership with stakeholders and organizations; for more details please visit the foundation’s website: www.morgansmartfoundation.org or send us a mail on morganfoundation@yahoo.com

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