From Marginalization to Empowerment: Francisca Ene Ekpo’s Journey to Leadership through AWDA’s Advocacy

Many Women in Akpabuyo Local Government had suffered marginalization and abandonment after being fully engaged during the Political Campaign to the Elections proper. Again, it is a well-known fact that Women constitute the largest number of Voters according to INEC Records, yet were not given the opportunities to hold important Political Offices. 

Francisca Ene Ekpo, a Widow with 5 Children and a “Mama Put” (Local Food) Seller at BamBam Junction in Ikot Eyo Ward, Akpabuyo LGA had experienced marginalization throughout her participation in the Politics of her Ward and was never considered capable of handling a sensitive post despite the fact that she is an active Mobilizer and a Strong Voice for Women in her Ward since 1999. This continued until the advent of Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project, which brought enlightenment to Women on their Rights to Vote and to be Voted for.

Through the Sensitization and Political Enlightenment Campaigns of Akpabuyo Women Development Association (AWDA), Francisca became more resilient until the Local Government Leadership identified and recommended her for an appointment as a Special Assistant on Women Affairs.

And she testified:

Before I became a Special Assistant, I have worked for many Governments as a grassroot mobilizer, did all the singing, dancing, whistleblowing, and cooking jobs during campaigns, with only a First School Leaving Certificate, I never dreamt of getting appointments in life. But due to the exposure and efforts of AWDA Leadership, I am now an Appointee in Council and now have enough to take care of my family and assist other Women. Thank you, AWDA for enlightening and bringing me out to limelight.”