30 November, 2016
By Stephanie Ugwu, SHCJ
The Nigerian Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella body of Catholic Sisters from different congregations in Nigeria, gathered in DRACC – Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre, Ako Estate Lugbe Abuja from 22nd to 27th November 2016 for a landmark event.
Pondering on our ministries and the many challenges facing our country Nigeria and the possible ways we can further contribute to alleviate these problems, we acknowledged that as Religious women, we work at the grassroots, therefore we see and experience first-hand, the plight of our people. After years of unabated suffering, abuse of women and children, unbridled violence and injustice, the Sisters are charting a new course. In response to these needs of our times and overwhelmed by the sufferings of those we serve, we have felt the call to step beyond prayer and service delivery to tackling the structures responsible for the systemic injustice inflicted on our disadvantaged sisters and brothers
The capacity building workshop was part of African Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) empowerment project and focused on social analysis and advocacy so as to equip sisters to undertake this new feat. Resource persons were carefully chosen.
The climax of the four-day training workshop was Thursday 24th November, 2016 when 87 sisters representing 57 different congregations in Nigeria stormed the National House of Assembly as well as the Police Force headquarters on Advocacy visit with placards expressing the message of the sisters.
- Democracy does not end after elections, in fact it begins there, those we elect to office are accountable to us.
- We can be part of law making, we can propose a bill.
- There is urgent need for us to read our constitutions, know our rights before we can demand for or defend them.