October 5, 2010
September 12, 2010
My name is Emem Jeremiah Okon. Bridget is my baptismal name in the catholic church. I'm Nigerian from Akwa Ibom state but live in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. I have been involved in community women's empowerment and mobilization since 1998. I work mainly in rural communities in the Niger Delta region. Creating awareness about issues of violence against women such as female genital mutilation, widowhood practices and the legislation that has prohibited these practices; providing copies of such legislations to the chiefs and community leaders; environment; and campaigns for increased women's political participation.
I lead campaigns against state violence against communities i.e sacking of whole communities by government security taks force on the orders of the federal government and the impact of such govenrment actions on women, children and the elderly as well as the physically challenged. Presently, I am leading a campaign for the pasage into law a bill which incorporates into a law the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People Rights to the rights of women as well as the National Gender Policy.
In the Niger Delta, there is gross human rights abuse and devastation of the environment by oil and gas multinational companies. The people of the Niger Delta have lived with oil spills, gas flaring over the past 40 years. This has impacted in no small measure on the women community.