The Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) is an Association of women bound together by their marriage to Military and Police Officers in Nigeria. It is a registered Non-Governmental Organization with the main aim of transforming the lives of families in the armed forces and police barracks. As a women’s organization, DEPOWA is an affiliate of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) Nigeria; an Association that is established to promote and champion the course of women in Nigeria.
The origin of DEPOWA can be traced to the period after the civil war when the need for welfare and humanitarian responses were on the increase both for the wounded soldiers in the hospital and the civilians. There was also the need to come together under one umbrella so as to create unity amongst officers’ wives and broaden the scope of their humanitarian and community activities. With the support and encouragement from the then First Lady, Mrs Victoria Yakubu Gowon, the group began to put in place strategies for the formation of an Association. This group was later named the Joint Officers’ Wives Social Services (JOWSS).
The Joint Officers’ Wives Social Services was made up of all the National Presidents of existing Officers’ Wives Associations of the Army, Navy, Air Force and a member nominated by each of the National Presidents. This organization, among other responsibilities, was to assist other charity organizations across the country. The organization later became known as Joint Armed Forces and Police Officers’ Wives Consultative Committee (JOFOPOWCCO).
This was aimed at fostering unity among the officers’ wives of the armed forces and the police. Consequently, in the pursuit of repositioning the Committee for efficiency and effective response to humanitarian services, the Joint Armed Forces and Police Officers’ Wives Consultative Committee was changed to Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) on 26th August 1996. The motto of DEPOWA is “Unity and Dedication”.