She is Tracy Mcwary, a former Miss Abia, who once contested the Miss Nigeria pageant. She is so passionate about humanitarian activities, which informed her decision to float the Miss Amnesty Nigeria, under the Tracy Mcwary Foundation.
Recently, she mobilised hundreds of her followers to the streets of Port Harcourt to create awareness concerning her up-coming event, the Miss Amnesty Nigeria, to buoy up what the federal government's amnesty programme is doing.
She told TNN in an online interview that “this is a programme that will bring women out of the streets and reduce the rate of prostitution and human trafficking, including domestic violence. Hundreds of women will be empowered and trained on different vocations, including fashion designing, beautification, hair making, confectionaries, hair dressing, driving, ICT, etc.
We are also in talks with different corporate bodies to ensure the success of this programme.
She bared her mind on some of the issues affecting women and her foundation.
How should the government treat wives of former militants who accepted amnesty?
Their wives also need to be reoriented, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society and also empowered in the process. They also need to be honoured in the federals for embracing peace and change. Women are the managers of peace in their various homes, therefore recognizing and honouring them will create more avenues for a sustainable peace in the various regions.
And what kind of amnesty do you think should be granted repentant prostitutes?
Repentant prostitutes should also be rehabilitated, reoriented, conscientised and also be fully empowered, because when you empower a woman, you empower an entire community.
When you empower most of these prostitutes, they will leave the streets and start up their various families. There will also be reduction in illicit trades and affairs and there will be a reduction in human trafficking; most of them leave the country for greener pastures. Further, they will undergo various leadership trainings and vocational skills.
No woman wants to become a prostitute intentionally. They should further be monitored and followed up by the government to ensure they don't go back to the street. When you do these you will hardly see any girl standing at night, and the rate of ritual killings will also reduce.
Most of these prostitutes are the targets of most ritualists, they are easily gotten at night and kidnapped.
Do you think prostitution should be legalised?
No, no need for it to be legalized and it shouldn't be criminalised. Nigeria is a very religious country and also godly at that, so such things cannot be condoned. We can only reduce it and wipe it out from the face of the country not encourage it. We are not corrupt and shameless. Nigeria is a country filled with pure and straightforward leaders. So such thing cannot be legalized.
How do you normally feel when you hear that policemen harass women who ply their trade in the night?
It is wrong. Prostitution shouldn't be criminalised. You may not legalize it, but don't criminalize and exploit them. I feel terrible and heartbroken when I see them packing them in their vans and further detaining them; they are further forced to pay a certain amount of money to be released, where do they expect them to get money for bail? It is totally uncalled for, they ought to be rehabilitated. Find out why they ventured into such trades and ill mannered life, they have their stories; counsel them, show them a better way to live life and be responsible, not torturing or worsening their lives.
They will keep going back to same thing if nothing is done about it. So we have to look into these cases and do something about it. They should also be empowered at the end of the day. When they change, they will eventually find good husbands and start up a family.
In the course of your work and campaign for women...have you often been sexually harassed? Second, how do you handle male admirers?
No, no one has sexually harassed me in the course of campaigning for women.
Men admirers make advances at me, of course, they do so with respect.
I usually make them casual friends at the end of the day and most of them turn out to be my business partners. It is psychology; change the perspective by which they view you and friend zone them. They will stop seeing you as sex object but as a business partner. It is not easy for a beautiful woman to be out there, but the way you present yourself as a woman matters a lot.