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NAWOJ Restates Commitment To Girl-Child Dev

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The Rivers State Chapter
of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to give the girl-child the pride of place she deserves.
To this end, it has decided to give priority attention to issues affecting the development of the girl-child in the society and in Rivers State in particular.
Chairman of the association in Rivers State, Mrs Okonkwo Lilian made this known during an advocacy visit on the traditional ruler of Igbo Kingdom, Onye Isiala I of Igbo Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Eze (Dr) Samuel Amaechi, in his palace at Igbo in Etche Local Government Area, recently.
In her remarks, the female journalists’ boss, said the visit was of tripartite mission. First to receive the blessing of the elders and to be able to reach the grassroots while wooing the partnership of the elders at the grassroots in their advocacy for the girl-child.
Mrs Okonkwo outlined the problems of the girl-child to include; being used as a money making machine for the training of the male child, rape and early marriage, in addition to obvious harmful traditional practices, which are very detrimental to their wellbeing.
She called on the traditional head to use the instrumentality of his institution to alleviate the plight of the girl-child who obviously wallows in the phobia of insecurity both from within and without. In her words “Nwanyi bu nwa, she deserves attention, she deserves assistance, she deserves quality education and access to good healthcare.”
Mrs Okonkwo stressed that the era when women stay at home for the good of the male children was over, stating that for the vantage role of the girl-child of today, who automatically is the mother of tomorrow, any injustice done to her, is tantamount to an injustice against the society.
She maintained that if our country should ever contemplate to be better than the present, then the need to invest on the girl-child is imperative.
Responding, the Onye Isiala I of Igbo Kingdom, HRM, Eze (Dr) Samuel Amaechi, commended the female journalists for what he described as a noble and worthy course.
His majesty, who was flanked by members of his council of chiefs, said those who appreciate the worth of womanhood, would never wait to be told to train their female children, while pointing out the likes of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke, the Petroleum Minister and of course the late Prof. Dora Akunyili of blessed memory, who have made the nation proud by their unique contributions to the development of the economy and humanity at large.
Eze (Dr) Samuel Amaechi therefore welcomed the partnership bid with his kingdom, promising that every member of his cabinet would be involved.

 

Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

Guest Lecturer at the 5th triennial delegates conference of NAWOJ Rivers State, Barrister Mrs Victoria Opara (right), former NAWOJ Chairman Rivers State, Mrs Uche Atuzie (middle) Director Publication, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mrs Juliet Njiowhor (left) at the Ministry of Women Affairs Port Harocurt, recently. Photo: Chris onyanaga

Guest Lecturer at the 5th triennial delegates conference of NAWOJ Rivers State, Barrister Mrs Victoria Opara (right), former NAWOJ Chairman Rivers State, Mrs Uche Atuzie (middle) Director Publication, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mrs Juliet Njiowhor (left) at the Ministry of Women Affairs Port Harocurt, recently. Photo: Chris onyanaga

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Women

‘It Is Time To End Violence Against Women’

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While pervasive, gender-based violence may seem to appear inevitable in our own clime, African Women Lawyers, Rivers State Chapter, believe that it can and must be prevented. To them, stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transforming harmful social norms, and empowers women and girls.
With women and girls living in danger around the world owing to conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations, which in turn exacerbate violence against women, this great body of women lawyers have decided to raise their voice against all shades of violence against women whether it be domestic or official
In pursuant of their aims and objectives, AWLA commemorate land mark dates set by the African Union and United Nations to raise awareness about the plight of women and children.
As the world engages in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the body avails itself the opportunity to highlight some violent and of course harmful practices Nigerian women are continually subjected to, as well as condemn such and create the awareness among the populace that perpetrators of such inhumane acts on a folk that deserves and desires protection in all spheres, will receive a bang of the law.
This year, AwLA is using the window provided by the United Nations via the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to contribute their own quota especially as it relates to condemning in concrete terms, societal practices that run foul to the healthy development of the women.
Activities outlined in commemorate of the 2021 version of the 16 days of activisms against gender based violence include; advocacy and sensitization visits to Khana Local Government and Oginigba in  Obio/Akpor Local Government on 26th and 30th November respectively while free legal clinic takes place in Port Harcourt Local Government on 29th of November.
While the program lasts, stakeholders are expected to brainstorm on how to solve the challenges faced by women, while women will be enlightened on their right as well as be sensitized on how to seek redress.
In a chat with The Tide woman Editor, Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi, the Coordinator of the African Women Lawyers Association, Hilda Desmond-Ihekaire, said her association is quite proactive on issues that bother on women and children’s rights.
She encouraged women to speak out against injustice meted on them by people who are supposed to protect their interest, stating that the era of accepting every awkward treatment against them is over. She enjoined them to avail themselves the opportunity of the free legal clinic provided at this season to vent out their grievances.
The AWLA coordinator revealed that her association is already handling matters of gender based violence in court at the moment and would stop at nothing until the public comes to appreciate that women are also human that should not be treated unjustly.
AWLA is a group of women lawyers with the aim and objective of protecting the right and interest of women and children in Africa. They do this through multi facetted approach, using advocacy, sensitization campaign and probono litigation services on women and children’s issues
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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NAWOJ Moves To Check Violence Against Women, Girls … Seeks More Action, Resources

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Chairman, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, has called for strengthened actions and resources to address violence against women and girls in the society.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, November 25, 2021 to commemorate this year’s 16-Days of Activism, with the theme: ‘Orange the world: End Violence Against Women Now’, the Chairman, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter stated that violence against women and girls reached pandemic proportion especially during the COVID-19 hit that resulted to lockdown.
Serekara stressed that as lockdown measures were implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, domestic violence intensified as school closures and economic strains left women and girls poorer, out of school and out of jobs, making them more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, forced marriage, and harassment.
“We believe  that ending violence against women will require strengthened actions by the government through more investment in women and girls,” she said, regretting that formal reports of domestic violence have decreased, yet survivors find it harder to seek help and access support through the regular channels. She further noted that the 16 days of activism is an expression that gender-based violence though not inevitable, can and must be prevented.
“While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls  and teenage girls who are employed as house helps . Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights,” Serekara added.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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NAWOJ Seeks Adequate Protection, Provision For Children

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Aware of the numerous problems children face especially with the current harsh economy of our nation, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State has stressed the need to protect the lives of children while investing in their future.
The association said this during this year’s commemoration of “The Universal Children’s Day”, that had “investing in our children means investing in our future”, as its theme.
This was contained in a statement signed by the association’s Chairman and Secretary, Mrs Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Dr Ngozi Anosike, respectively.
The statement described the essence of the day as a time to improve the welfare for all children.
“NAWOJ is using this special day to call on governments at all levels to ensure that every child is given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually, while cautioning parents against reproducing the number of children they cannot properly care for but give them out at their tender ages as house helps thereby exposing them to all forms of abuse.
“NAWOJ appreciates the fact that to invest in our nation requires that the child that is hungry is fed, the child that is sick nursed, the child that is backward helped, the delinquent child reclaimed, and the orphan and the unsheltered are secured”.
It commended the Governor of the State, Chief Nyesom Wike for ensuring that the Rehabilitation Centre at Iriebe is operating at optimum capacity.
NAWOJ recalls that during the commissioning of the rehabilitation Centre, Governor Wike magnanimously doled out N250million to the ministry of social welfare, just to ensure regular power supply and smooth running of the facility, a gesture NAWOJ appreciates so much as it translates to giving the children a sense of belonging.
The association also stressed the need to save the lives of new born babies in maternity homes and hospitals and called on Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to as a matter of necessity ensure regular power supply to those facilities.
The association in the statement regretted the death of premature children in the Intensive Care Unit of OPM Free Hospital at Aluu axis of the State as a result of power outage.
“Universal Children’s Day, celebrated annually on the 20th of November, is not just a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children that have experienced violence in forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination”, the statement added.

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