Joe Okei- Odumakin. Reliable. Capable. Strong. A women’s right activist. Born July, 4th 1966 in Zaria, Kaduna State. She attended St Barnabas Primary School. Queen Elizabeth Secondary School Ilorin. Kwara State Polytechnic of Basic Studies. University of Ilorin were she bagged a degree in English Education and MA in Guidance and Counselling and later Ph.D in History and Policy of Education.
She was the Secretary Women in Nigeria Kwara State branch in 1985. Founding President, Women Arise for Change Initiative. Director Institute for Human Rights and Democratic Studies. Chairman Task Force of the Citizen Forum. President, Centre for Participatory Democracy. Spokesperson for the Coalition of Civil Society Organisation in Nigeria and President, Centre for Challenge in Community Development and Public Awareness.
A courageous fighter whose consistent fight against human right abuses has exposed her to disturbing experiences under the cruellest regimes in Nigeria. Was detained seventeen (17) times during the military rule of Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda. Joe was involved with over two thousand women’s right abuse cases.
The Winnie Mandela of Nigeria. Prof. Wole Soyinka described Joe as “a tireless fighter whose frail bearing bellies an inner strength and resilience purpose, a veteran of affirmative marches, of crude arrests and detention, baton charges and tear gas who has lent luster to the struggle for justice and human dignity, who remain an inspiration of men and women, old and young”.
She is a recipient of numerous honours and awards. In 2013, in celebration of international Women’s Day, she was presented with the International Women of Courage Award from the U.S Department of State. An award made by Michelle Obama and John Kennedy at the U.S Departments Dean Achison Auditorium. The silver-bird Life Achievement Award received on the 3rd of February 2019 made it her five hundred and fifty (550) award.
Joe is married to Yinka Odumakin. They met in prison.