Chief Ebelechukwu Obiano (235395)
Credit: Bill Moore

From March 13 to March 24, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women hosted its 61st session at the U.N. and associated venues. The CSW is a global organization that focuses on empowerment of and equality for women.

Last week’s CSW 61, Joint Thematic Panel was sponsored by the Women Consortium of Nigeria. 

In February 1947, the CSW had its first meeting in New York after the United Nations was founded. All 15 representatives of the CSW are women. Each year, the coalition focuses on a certain issue women face. This year the CSW will focus on employment opportunities for women.

March 16, the African Women’s Alliance Inc., New York and the CSW held a combined panel discussion about this year’s theme. African Women’s Alliance Inc. was formed in 1997 by various organizations under the United Nations umbrella. Members of AWA are both Continental Africans and Diaspora Africans. 

Photos by Bill Moore

This event was public, with the majority of the audience being women. The people on the panel were all well-educated and are members of organizations that focus on the poor and underserved in rural areas. Along with the representatives of other groups, such as AWA and United Nations, Chief Ebelechukwu Obiano attended.

Co-hosted by Dr. Olatokunbo Sofala, speakers such as Ambassador Henry L. MacDonald (Suriname), Fatima Al Ansar, Cheryl Brannan and Belinda Biscoe, discussed their contributions to the effort to help women in rural areas become self-sufficient, gain access to health care and start their own businesses.

The guest of honor, Chief Obiano, is the wife of Chief Willie Obiano, governor of Anambra State, Nigeria.

She spoke of her work and her charity for the less privileged, Caring Family Enhancement. She told the audience at the Armenian Cultural Center that as the governor’s wife, she has done a lot of lifesaving/changing work with women. She noted that between January and March 2016, she refurbished housing across Anambra State. She helped women become financially stable and trained women to become community health workers in her organization. She also discussed what she is planning to do in the future. 

For more information about the organizations or upcoming events, please visit and