Speakers NWIDLF 2015

– Britain’s First Female Black MP? Asked them to break barriers

The foremost Nigerian women organisation in the United Kingdom, Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum, NWDLF, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a dinner at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, West London on Friday, with a renewed vigour to champion the cause of vulnerable women and girls.

NWDLF, which has held more rallies – in the? United Kingdom – for? the Chibok girls than any other group, promised to donate proceeds of their dinner for the women displaced by the terror group, Boko Haram. Guests, including Britain’s first female black MP – Member of Parliament – Diane Abbott; the former Mayors of Hackney, Enfield and Waltham Forest, Susan Dajana-Thomas, Kate Anolue and Anna Mbachu, all came out to support the organisation.

Abbott affirmed her support for the cause of the NWDLF, but went further to challenge the women to aspire to leadership positions in the British society. She told the packed gathering that if she could do it, there was no reason they too could not break barriers.

Former Enfield Mayor, Anolue, in her closing remarks, told the? former Shadow secretary that? the women are firmly behind her candidacy for the London Mayoral race, which she is contesting on the platform of Labour? party – Abbott is one of three Labour hopefuls hoping to win the party’s ticket for the 2016 elections of Mayor of London.

In a press release to mark the occasion, NWDLF president, Jenny Chika Okafor said: “We have been in existence for five years now and during that time, have organised and conducted numerous campaigns on behalf of the African woman. Issues we have campaigned on include female genital mutilation, child marriages, the Chibok girls and gender equality.”

Okafor noted also that NWDLF “has campaigned aggressively for the release of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram,” by “holding monthly rallies outside the Nigerian High Commission.”

She also listed the “Women Holding Hands” event the organisation held at the House of Commons last October and that in 2013, ” the NWDLF convened a special conference to debate the debilitating effects of child marriage among African children in response to moves by the Nigerian Senate to approve underage wedlock,” as some of its many ways of pleading the cause of the Nigerian and African women.

Friday’s anniversary, Okafor revealed in the press statement, will build on the past successes of the organization. Besides, “proceeds raised from the dinner will go to women displaced by Boko Haram.”

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