Thursday, April 15, 2010


The first Igbo Women's World Conference took place in Aba from 5th to 7th May, 2009. It was hosted by the government of Abia State. The conference came on the heels of the First Festival of Igbo Civilization, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

Declaring the conference open, the governor of Abia State, His Excellency Chief Theodore Orji, welcomed Igbo women from at home and the Diaspora and charged them to be good ambassadors of the nation and the Igbo world. The Special Guest of Honour, Her Excellency Dame Mrs Goodluck Jonathan, wife of the Vice President, appreciated the work of the organizers of the conference. Other Special guests present were the wives of four state governors, while that of Imo State was represented by the Imo Commissioner for Women Affairs.

The Chairman of the occasion Ambassador Raph Uwaechue, President General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo praised the women and charged them to be the conscience of the Igbo nation and protect the children and youths in their care.

In her keynote Address the conference Planning Committee Chairperson, Professor Catherine Acholonu gave an account of the events leading to the conference and the need to heed Professor Achebe's advice given in his 2009 Ahiajoku lecture, that Mother is Supreme and that Igbo men should harken to their women when things go owry in the society.
Professor T. Nwala gave an account of the involment of his organization CODES in partnersing with Ohanaeze towards the Festival of Igbo Civilization.

Over 30 academic papers were delivered at the deliberations, including a paper on the dwindling respect for Women priestesses in Igbo society delivered by a German researcher on Igbo Water goddesses, Prof Sabine Jell-Bahlsen.

The conference ended with resolutions on annual conferences, protecting Igbo Language and Culture and struggle for women's rights in the society. The Women ruled that henceforth all deliberations, conferences and gatherings of Igbo people must be conducted in Igbo language.

The women visited the grave of the leader of the Aba Women's War of 1929, led by Prof Catherine Acholonu and a representative of the Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mrs Theodore Orji.

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