AS THIS year’s August meeting is gradually coming to an end, Igbo women are returning back to their bases.
August meeting is an association of married women in Igboland. It brings all the women together both those residing at home and those domiciled outside.
August Meetings last between four days and one week, depending on the community and activities wrapped for the event. Women, no matter where they reside, usually find their ways back home during August Meetings.
Most women have used this medium to distinguish themselves as agents of peace- building and community development.
As experts put it, the significance of the meeting is to form a common front in their matrimonial homes in order to fashion out ways of bettering their immediate families, churches and communities.
Since the inception of the meeting to date, different ideas have been injected into the meeting to make it better and give all women a sense of belonging.
One of the latest ideas in recent times to the meeting is the introduction of Diocesan uniforms of the different denominations to be worn by women.
Any woman that wants to attend the meeting is expected to put on the uniform and anyone that goes contrary is penalised.
The introduction of the uniform cancels the idea that August Meetings are periods of show off, although at inception, most women saw the meeting as a forum to show off ornaments or expensive attires.
However today, the notion has changed. Leaders of these women meetings have adopted uniforms for the meeting.
Aside from uniforms, is August Meeting leaving the expectations of the founding members?
Commenting on August Meeting, Eucharia Ofoegbu said it was a meeting for women of the Christian faith in Igboland. According to her, whatever denomination- whether Catholic , Anglican or Methodist, it is an association that brings all the women in the various communities together and also to discuss issues affecting their parishes, how to uplift their parishes and for the betterment of the community.
On when the meeting started, she said the association was above three decades, adding that a thorough work was done to bring women under this group.
On leaving up to expectations of the founding members Mrs Ofoegbu opined that the meeting is leaving up to expectations, adding that as things continue changing, the method of the meeting changes too to make it interesting and for its sustainability.
Continuing, Ofoegbu noted that one of the expectations of the meeting is to unite women, adding that August Meeting has been able to foster unity among Christian women in different communities in Igboland.
Applauding the introduction of Diocesan uniforms, worn by different denominations , Ofoegbu noted that this has put an end to fights between women and their husbands on the issue of what to wear during August Meetings.
“For August Meeting there is now a dress code for all denominations which must be adhered to. Any woman that goes contrary to it will be penalised. This will enable women to participate actively and also to cut ostentatious spending. The era of women exchanging fisticuffs with their husbands is no more,” she noted.
Contributing, Catherine Ilona opined that August Meeting is a time when women of different denominations come together to deliberate on issues affecting the church and community at large.
Giving the objectives of the meeting, Mrs Ilona said it was an avenue to bring women of that faith together, adding that it is also a way of tackling developmental issues in the community.
She informed that if the women notice that their places of worship are not good, they may decide to put up a befitting structure.
According to her, the developmental projects by the women also extend to the community.
They carry out these by levying themselves when they attend August Meetings irrespective of their places of domicile, soliciting funds from good spirited individuals of the community so as to achieve the successful completion of the projects.
Mrs Ilona said the meeting was living up to expectations of the founding members in the sense that it brings women together especially when it has to do with prayers in accordance with the faith of people participating.