Canada and Nigeria are
collaborating to end child, early and forced marriage in the country, the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria said on Thursday.
A statement issued by Ms Ezinne Uluocha, Public Affairs Officer of the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, said a significant reduction in child marriage would ensure a better society.
The statement said the High Commission was collaborating with Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, a Nigerian NGO, to highlight the worldwide issue of child marriage as it affects Nigeria.
“The Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Perry Calderwood is collaborating with Ms Amina Hanga, Executive Secretary of Nigerian NGO, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative.
“The NGO forms part of the “Girls Not Brides” network, which was awarded the Government of Canada Diefenbaker Human Rights and Freedom Award in Ottawa in November 2014.
It said child marriage hindered the achievement of the six Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are expected to be met by all countries by the end of this year.
According to it, ensuring that child marriage is meaningfully included in the post-2015 global development agenda is a top priority for Canadian government.
“The six MDGs are: eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; gender equality; child mortality; maternal health; combating HIV and other diseases.
“A significant reduction in its prevalence would result in more developed, just and prosperous societies,” it said.
It said the high commission would on January 15, host a reception marking the showing of “Too Young to Wed”, a video highlighting the worldwide issue of child marriage.
According to it, the video has been shown around the world, including the U.S., UK, Argentina, Portugal, Finland, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Senegal and Ghana.
The statement said Canada had helped to create international momentum against child marriage.
“Canada addresses child, early and forced marriage through several health, poverty alleviation and education international development assistance programmes.
“In October 2013, Foreign Minister Baird announced five million dollars to address the causes and consequences of child, early and forced marriage around the world.
“These funds were used for programmes in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Somalia, and Zimbabwe.
“On July 4, 2014, Baird announced that Canada is contributing 20 million dollars over two years to UNICEF toward ending child, early and forced marriage.
“The UNICEF project aims to accelerate the movement to end child marriage in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Yemen and Zambia by supporting efforts in these countries to strengthen programming and political support to end the practice.”
It said Canada was aware that the leadership of high-prevalence countries was essential in efforts to end child marriage, and would provide support to AU campaign to end child marriage.
According to it, the campaign aims to accelerate the end of child marriage in Africa by enhancing continental awareness of its effects.
Women Educators Seek Solution To Insecurity In Rivers
Women under the auspices of Women Educators Association of Nigeria (WEAN), in collaboration with the #SaveOurLives Campaign, have embarked on seeking solutions to the ravaging insecurity in Nigeria.
At their recent meeting in Port Harcourt, the women met with various victims of all forms of attacks that have constituted different shades of insecurity in the state.
During the meeting, which was hosted by the leadership of Women Education Centre in Port Harcourt, victims of violent attacks narrated their experiences, and also proffered solutions to vices that have resulted in insecurity in different parts of the state.
Most of the victims, who narrated their ordeal, were women who were involved in sea piracy and robbery attacks at different parts of the state’s waterways and roads, as well as rape, some of which led to death.
Solutions proffered include: a call on government at all levels to empower women, who are more vulnerable; create jobs for the youth, who are key players in the vices; and for parents to be closer to their children in order to be in better position to check them from indulging in such vices.
They also called on government to check trending situations of people getting suddenly rich with no explanation as to how they got the wealth.
Making her contribution, the Principal of Women Education Centre, Port Harcourt, Pastor Ateli Nwachukwu, called on the government to de-emphasize possession of certificate, while encouraging entrepreneurship, as well as “saying no to the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer” syndrome.
Nwachukwu, who was the moderator of the meeting, stated that “any society where there’s marginalisation, where there’s dichotomy between the rich and the poor, if the margin is large, these vices are bound to occur, because a hungry man is an angry man”.
Speaking in a post-meeting interview, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WEAN, Sylvia Briggs, said the meeting is intended to create an enabling environment for victims of violence to share their experiences to create relevant awareness for the authorities.
According to Briggs, who coordinated the meeting on behalf of #SaveOurLives Campaign, “this forum is intended to create space for participants to share their experiences with regard to different shades of insecurity that they have encountered”.
Such experiences, she explained, “will be looked into, together with solutions proffered, and be presented to government”.
By: Soibi Max-Alalibo
Media Women Tasked On Journalism Of Responsibility
Members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter, have been charged to practise “ journalism of responsibility “. The chairperson of the association, Mrs Susan Serekara Nwikhana, gave the charge two days ago in a one day capacity building workshop organized for members in collaboration with West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) in Port Harcourt.
Mrs Nwikhana noted that journalism of responsibility which according to her, can only be achieved by presenting the facts to the audience to hold their opinion on the presented facts, remains a sure way to gaining the public’s credibility as well as enhancing the media’s reputation to the public.
She maintained that such could go a long way to debunk the age long myth that complete objectivity is not obtainable in journalism practice, as journalists are said to lack the will to be entirely separated from their personal view points despite their averred claims to objectivity.
Commenting on the topic of the event, ‘ the role of the media in the implementation of the Rivers State action plan on 1325, and, identifying fake news, facts and the journalist’, Mrs Nwikhana noted that the topic could not have come at a better time than now, considering the importance of information dissemination to peace building or escalation of conflicts in the society.
Corroborating the stand of the media women’s boss on factual presentation of information, a guest speaker in the workshop, the south-south zonal director of Business Day Newspaper, Mr Ignatius Chukwu, the principal responsibility of every journalist is to report the fact notwithstanding the resultant effect.
Oba Extols The virtues Of Women
The new Oba of Ogba Land, His Eminence, Barrister Nwachukwu Nnam Obi (111), has expressed great value and respect for the women folk.
This happened last week as a delegation of members of the Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State chapter, visited the palace of the late Oba, His Eminence, Sir (Dr) Chukwumela Nnam Obi (11) OON, JP, FNATT, Oba (Eze Ogba) of Ogba Land on a condolence visit to his family.
The royal father who spoke lovely of his mother, sisters and wife, recognized and acknowledged in no mean measure, the value of women to the development of the society.
He confessed a high indebtedness to the effort of women around his life for successes he ever achieved in life.
His words; “ whatever I have become today, women contributed so much to it hence I hold them so close to my heart”, were clear demonstration of the extent to which he appreciates the immeasurable role of women in societal development.
Relating his resolve to keep to the later, the legacies, wishes and aspirations of his late father, he said “ my father had longed to have a woman serve in the capacity of the vice president of Nigeria. It had also been his dream to have some obnoxious traditional rules within our domain amended in favour of women, especially as it partains to sharing of family inheritance “
He thus promised that his kingdom would continue to ensure that women are put in their right place, while issues that bothers on their well being would always be given a priority consideration.
In her response, the Chairman of NAWOJ, Mrs Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, appreciated the gesture, especially his resolve to carry on the existing relationship between his late father and the body of women journalists in the state.
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