WORDOC 30th Anniversary Conference: Village Square Meeting

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The final event of the WORDOC 30th anniversary conference was a village square meeting at Lady Bank-Anthony Hall, which brought together grassroots women groups and women from the academic and professional sectors to deliberate on some of the pressing issues that confront women in Nigerian society.

It was a session where the question ‘What Do Women Want, What Should Women Want?’ was dissected from a wide range of social positions. The official language of the village square meeting was Yoruba, and an interpreter was available to help render into Yoruba whatever was said in English.

Women who have been at the forefront of academic and activist work on women’s issues in Nigeria were on hand to guide the proceedings, and these included Prof Bolanle Awe, Prof Janice Olawoye and Prof Emeritus Abiola Odejide. The Village Square Meeting was chaired by Chief Mrs Moji Ladipo, former Registrar of the University of Ibadan.

Women members of market, trading, and farming associations as well as women from the NGO sector participated in the programme where experiences of the exploitation and subjugation of women and girls in Nigerian society were discussed and resolutions were reached as to building a more effective network of women from all walks of life the better to provide succour and support systems for women in any situation they may find themselves within patriarchal society. The need for women to utilize the vote to push for relevant women-oriented change, rather than supporting self-seeking politicians whose stock-in-trade is electioneering tokenism, was highlighted at the Village Square Meeting. Plenty of information was shared on how WORDOC can further expand its outreach to women groups in rural communities.

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