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Group Seeks Govt Support for Victims of Harmful Traditional Practices Against Women



By Praise Chinecherem 

A Group under the umbrella of Anambra state women community leaders has urged Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare to set up a budget line to support women in desperate need following abandonment by their husband. 

The Chairperson, Lady Franca Nwigbo accompanied by the Secretary, Dr. Mrs. Obioma Onyejegbu made the call on Tuesday in Awka, during the unveiling of the Anambra state women community “Womanifesto” to the public.

Nwigbo said the group had made a clarion call for people of the state to end women oppression and marginalisation expressed through traditional practices and customs. 

The Womanifesto partly reads, “On matters of election and politics, a woman should be allowed to choose from where to draw her rights either from the father’s place or from the husband’s place.

“The practice of a woman going through the ritual of forest passage upon the death of the husband should not happen again in the State. The design and implementation of services in education, health and agriculture should meet the standards of gender equity to promote gender equality and social justice”, among others.

“Such practices either enshrined in customary behavior or practices must be stopped; they are now also prohibited by the Violence Against Persons’ Prohibition Law of Anambra State (VAPP).

“We thus hold this covenant among ourselves that the people of Anambra would hold to account anyone who breached these laws and basic principles of social justice”.

Unveiling the Womanifesto, Barr. Akpudo observed that most of the practices were no longer in existence in some communities in the state, charging women to consider their background in whatever they were doing.

Describing women as the foundation stone of the family, Akpudo urged them to give desired respect to their husband.

“A mother is closer to the children, and therefore expected to take good care of the family, …however there is work for each and everyone of us, but more lies on the women. Men should contribute their own quota in child up bringing”, he said. 

Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs Ifeyinwa Obinabo, charged women to be agents of change and urged wives to caution their husbands and children especially the males to be of good behaviour.

Obinabo, represented by Mrs Ngozi Egwuonwu, decried rising incidence of rape cases, she reminded that the state has now established a family court against rape and recommended stringent punishment for offenders.

“Government established family courts to fast track cases of rape, and also treat such cases at community levels to avoid delay of rape matters”, she noted and urged women to discharge their duties effectively and make Anambra state in particular a better place in Igboland and Nigeria in general,” she said.

Also speaking, Executive Director, Civil Rights Concern (CRC), Comrade Okey Onyeka used the opportunity to counsel all women to ensure that they are registered and have their Permanent Voters Card(PVC) to vote in 2023 general election.  

“If all qualified citizens are registered, cast their votes, Nigeria will get it right. What is happening today is revolution. If there’s no justice and equity in Nigeria, we can’t move forward. 

“Encourage your children above 18 years to register and have their PVC. The youths have said that Nigeria must move forward, if we register and cast our vote rightly, Nigeria will have a good leader.”, Onyeka adviced, insisting that CRC has been engaging communities in voter education and sensitisation activities in Anambra state.

The occasion attended by the National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions(ASATU), Barr. Titus Nnabuike Akpudo, was facilitated by the Civil Rights Concern (CRC), for women leaders in Anambra Central Senatorial zone.

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