The Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN), a non-governmental organization committed to enhancing quality of life through empowerment initiatives and programs, has called on media professionals to prioritize the advancement of women’s and girls’ well-being.
Ms. Atinuke Odukoya, the Director of CEWHIN, made this appeal during a CSO-Media roundtable to mark CEWHIN’s twentieth anniversary of improving the well-being of women and girls.
Speaking on the need to collaborate with the media, Ms. Odukoya stressed the need for the CSO to collaborate with the media explaining that the narrative that the media puts out there goes a long way to affecting the wellbeing of women and girls.
“CEWHIN has done a lot of CSO collaboration and partnerships, community collaboration and partnerships, government collaboration and partnership but we haven’t been very strong in terms of partnering and collaborating with the media and so today we are looking at how can we strengthen that area of work that we are doing and of cause understanding that the narrative that the media put out there has a lot to do in terms of promoting the wellbeing of women and girl child,” she said
Reflecting on the organization’s history, Ms. Odukoya acknowledged the foundation laid by the late Adebanke Akinrimisi in 2003. Ms. Odukoya highlighted Adebanke’s tireless efforts and commitment, emphasizing sleepless nights and extensive engagement across states that contributed to the establishment of CEWHIN as it stands today. The organization’s operations have spanned several states, including Benue, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Kaduna, Kwara, and Oyo, both at regional and national levels. CEWHIN focuses on three major program areas: empowerment, health, and governance.
“The organisation was founded by Adebanke Akinrimisi of blessed memory and in 2003. I cannot help but mention the hard work and commitment that Adebanke put into CEWHIN that we now see: sleepless nights, continuous engagement across states and a commitment that is unparalleled. Our operations have covered Benue, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Kaduna, Kwara and Oyo states particularly and nationally in some instances. CEWHIN has three major programme areas: empowerment, health, and governance,” she said.
Ms. Odukoya discussed the empowerment program, defining it as a process aimed at increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make and act upon choices. She stressed the importance of empowerment as a transformative journey from a state of disempowerment to one where individuals have the ability to make and act upon choices.
Regarding health, Ms. Odukoya provided a broad definition, positioning health as crucial for the enjoyment of all human rights. CEWHIN’s health program seeks to understand and address factors hindering women and young girls from achieving complete well-being, including barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare services. The program also focuses on raising awareness of social-cultural issues that contribute to the vulnerability of women and young girls to health challenges, such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Speaking on CEWHIN’s role in governance, Ms. Odukoya emphasized the organization’s belief in the necessity of a participatory approach for effective governance and social change. She asserted that informed stakeholders, equipped with knowledge and skills, are essential for efficient decision-making processes. CEWHIN’s governance program aims to foster collaboration between the government and citizens in specific sectors, working towards the realization of good governance.