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Upsurge Of Violence Against Women Worries Female Journalists

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Government at all levels has been called upon to check the increasing rate of violence against women and the girl-child. The Acting Chairperson of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State Council,  Mrs Grant-Amadi Joy, made the call as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
   Calling for  social referral centers to be established at strategic places to rehabilitate victims of violence, Mrs Grant-Amadi said this year’s theme “Orange the world: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”, is apt as it amplifies global action to bridge funding gaps, as well as  ensure essential services for survivors of violence .
She stressed on the need to encourage collection of accurate data, explaining that it would improve life-saving services for women and children. In her words, “ it is pertinent to note that collection of accurate data to improve life saving services for women and children should be encouraged.”
The association, through the Acting Chairperson, applauded Interventionist efforts of Non-governmental Organisations including Doctors without Borders, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch and International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) Rivers, and appealed for sustainability.
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Women

Women Plan To Build Pastor’s House

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The Women Department of the Ascension Apostolic Church, Elekahia headquarters, is sourcing for N4.5million for the construction of the Pastor’s parsonage.
Women leader of the church, Deaconess Queen Chukwu said this in an interview at the Sixth Annual Women Day celebration of the church.
Theme for the event was ‘Women The Pillar’.
Chukwu also said the women were also planning to acquire more land for the expansion of the church.
She said women had contributed so much in many departments of the church such as, medical, sanitation and choir among others.
Earlier in an address read by the Women Secretary, Deaconess Victory Saana, the women said the occasion was another call for women to know their responsibilities that they are not just women but pillars upon which the church, family and society are built upon.
She said women had significant role to play in supporting their families, churches and society through hardwork, humility and good communication.
They listed some of their achievements as, purchase of new generator set, purchase of cooking utensils and purchase of the land where church building is standing.
Chairman of the occasion, Hon.Kingsley Leh urged the men to support their wives in their activities.
He also thanked the women for their support to the church.
Guest preacher, Madam Blessing Badoo, urged the women to sustain their support to the church and society.
Badoo told the women to continue to play their role in their respective families, communities and societies.
She stressed the need for them to engage in enterpreneural training to improve themselves.
The host pastor, Rev. Michael Barisudor, said the women were responsible for all development in the church, adding that the church is proud of its Women Department.

By: John Bibor

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Group Makes Case For Girl-Child Education

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Student union leaders in Rivers State have identified girl-child education as an integral part to societal growth and advancement.
Speaking during an event, “PAD A Girl-Child” organised by leaders of Aluta Conscious Female in Rivers State University (RSU), President of the group, Comrade Meelubari Worgor said educating a female girl-child and giving them the right skills would act as key indicator to enhance societal development.
Worgor explained that ACF was a platform to encourage women in leadership positions and support them to succeed, adding that the association pushes future female leaders through the PAD platform.
According to her, the objective of the PAD is to raise and shape the girl-child educationally, financially and emotionally to make her stable in her future.
It is designed, “To make the girl-child stand firm politically, materially to face her world” she stated.
She disclosed that this year’s celebration marks the 3rd anniversary of the group.
Worgor said events marking the anniversary climaxed with the distinguished award of honour bestowed on Mr Kpegile Penu Favour for his support to girl-child education in the state.
Speaking while receiving the award on behalf of Mr Kpegile Penu Favour, Comrade Kpobari Penu thanked the group for finding Favour worthy of the award, and promised that the award would spur him to continue in the development of the girl-child in the society.

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Speak Up When Sexually Abused, Banigo Urges Survivors

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that survivors of sexual abuse must speak up for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to be punished.
Banigo reiterated this during a sensitisation campaign on the theme: “Dealing with Mental Health and Sexual Abuse in Unity Schools”, organized by the Support the Girl Child Initiative Programme of her office at the Federal Government College in Port Harcourt.
Represented by her Senior Special Assistant, Barrister Inegogo Fubara, the deputy governor said the programme was put together because of the importance she attaches to the mental and psychological health of young people, adding that it was part of the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day and the International Day of the Girl Child.
Banigo, who urged the students to take the programme seriously, said they should see the guidance counsellor of the school whenever they were depressed for proper counselling, stressing that they must speak out whenever they face any form of abuse.
“I want you to understand that the fact that you have been sexually abused is not the end of life, there is life after rape, and there is life after sexual abuse. Do not keep quiet about it, even if it was done at home or in school, please speak up”, Banigo added.
According to the deputy governor, “Rape is a criminal offence that is punishable, and the punishment for rape is life imprisonment”.
She said even children could be jailed for rape, adding that for a child, the punishment could be 14 years in imprisonment.
Banigo said in 2018, the Protect the Girl Child Initiative, organized its first Mental and Sexual Abuse seminar at the Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuloma, where links about sexual violence and how to stop it and ensure that the voices of survivors were heard was set up.
According to the her, “At the seminar in Abuloma, a female student who had been violated repeatedly, since she was eight years old, came out, and the Protect the Girl Child Initiative, in the Office of the Deputy Governor was able to take her out of the environment, provided a safe home for her, and ensured that the perpetrator was reported to the police. Today, she is in her 200-level in the university”.
She added that, a similar programme for about 1,300 students was held at Holy Rosary College in 2018, where for the first time, many students understood what it means to be sexually abused, and realised that it was not the end of the world.
In his presentation on the topic, “Depression: How To Recognise And Deal With It”, a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr. Chukwuma Oke Afor, said depression has to do with un-controlled sadness, lack of interest in the things the person used to love in the past as well as fatigue.
He also said inability to sleep; having a feeling of hopelessness and the desire to end one’s life are signs of depression, while noting that counselling by a trusted person could help to salvage the situation.
The representative from the Doctors Without Borders, Onyinye Anaba, who spoke on the topic, “Sexual Abuse and Where to find Help”, frowned at the situation whereby victims of sexual abuse are blamed for the crime instead of naming and shaming the perpetrators.

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