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Women’s Day: NCWS calls for inclusive programmes for women

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Women’s Day: NCWS calls for inclusive programmes for women

Policies

The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) wants the Federal Government to ensure all-inclusive policies that would create opportunities for women in politics and business.

Mrs Gloria Shoda, NCWS President said this in a statement on Thursday, to mark the 2019 International Women’s Day (IWD).

This year’s IWD is themed: “Think equal, build smart, and innovate for change”.

Shoda said that the day was marked every March 8, by the United Nations and other global organisations to bring to the fore issues that affect women.

The council boss said that in spite of efforts to expand the frontiers for women, there was a more urgent need to focus on women in the rural areas.

She said that those in the rural areas needed inclusive policies, financial support and social structures that would aid them in making positive contributions to development.

According to the council boss, it is imperative to press for progress across different markers of development, especially for women, and ensure that spaces are created for them to achieve their potentials.

“As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day, it is important to stress the contribution of women to national development.

“But at the same time, it is an opportunity to call for inclusive policies and open space to address issues of gender parity.

“This will make it easier for women to not only reach their full potentials in politics and business, but also expand the space for representation in societal integration and growth.” she said.

Shoda noted that the council over the years had empowered millions of women and created opportunities for them to expand in business; and urged support for the NCWS to help women achieve their goals.

According to her, the 2019 IWD’s theme of “Think equal, build smart, and innovate for change”, will advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Shoda said the theme was apt as it called on government to pay particular attention to areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

She said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could only be achieved by transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly in the area of advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

She, however, said that based on current trajectories, existing interventions would not suffice to achieve a Planet 50-50 by 2030.

Shoda noted that innovative approaches that disrupt “business as usual’’ were central to removing structural barriers and ensuring that no woman, or girl was left behind.

DE/DOR

Health

COVID-19: NGO takes sensitization campaign to market, community, women leaders in Kaduna

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An NGO, Second Chance Humanitarian Aid Foundation, on Friday organised a one day seminar on COVID-19 preventive measures for market, community and women leaders in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Ladi Bala, founder of the foundation, said that the organisation considered it necessary to complement government efforts in creating awareness on coronavirus at the grassroots.

The founder, who was represented by Banta Bala, Project Coordinator of the Foundation, said people at grassroots needed much sensitisation because of their vulnerability, and creating such awareness would further give them  a sense of belonging.

“The rural dwellers need to be well informed on measures to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus.

“The government is doing her best but the bulk of the responsibility is on the people to do the needful, as such, we considered it needful to contribute our token in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.

Mr Peter Ibrahim, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, harped on the need for behavioral change on the part of members of the public in the face of the pandemic.

“As much as the State Government is considering easing of the lockdown, people’s attitude especially in observing social distancing was a major challenge.

“I commend the organisers of the event, as it is part of government’s plans to engage critical stakeholders including, traditional and religious leaders, market groups and associations, amongst others in combating COVID-19,” he added.

Ibrahim urged participants to leverage on the lessons learnt at the seminar to further educate other members of the community.

Also speaking, Mr Sunday Tabishi, the Council Secretary, Kaura Local Government, commended the initiative, which according to him, was timely.

Tabishi urged the people to exercise more patience as the government was doing all within its power to bring succor to the people, particularly those at the grassroots.

Earlier, Mr Isaac Auta, a member  of the foundation, who spoke on Personal Hygiene, told participants to ensure regular washing of their hands, use of face masks and observe social distancing.

He said although there had not been any reported case of COVID-19 in the area, residents needed to observe the necessary precautionary measures, bearing in mind that the virus was real.

Malam Musa Buga, Head of Manchok market and Mrs Mageret Musa, Head of Women in the market, in their separate responses appreciated the NGO for the sensitisation, noting that it gave them a sense of belonging.

They assured the foundation of judicious use of the items they received and promised to enlighten others on lessons learnt at the seminar.

NAN reports that the seminar tagged, “COVID-19 Intervention Project”, saw presentation of 1,000 face masks as well as 10 hand washing basins to be placed at the Local Government Secretariat and the market place.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Health

Okota Rotary Club empowers women, donate ICT, first AID kits to schools

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Rotary Club of Okota, District 9110, says it has empowered five women, donated ICT equipment, fully kitted first aid boxes and supply note books to some schools in Okota Community area of Lagos State.

Its President, Ronke Jones-Adewale, said that the donations were part of the “Three in One” project embarked upon by the club.

It was tagged: “Basic Education and Literary Project”.

Jones-Adewale said items donated by the club to the beneficiaries included complete ICT system unit with all in one printer, universal power supply.

In the empowerment programme, each beneficiary woman got Ex large insulated cooling container, plastic cooler, five cartoons of soft drinks, five cartoons of bottled water and stipends for ice blocks.

She said that the basic education and literary project comprised fully kitted first aid kits and 1,500 note books to six schools within Okota and Oke-Afa areas.

The club president said that donations to the schools were continuous programme.

She said that the first aid boxes had been introduced in some schools in line with the Motto of Rotary: “Doing Good in the World, Service To Humanity”.

The club leader said that four out of the six schools had been enjoying the club’s programme before two other schools were added.

Jones-Adewale said that the complete ICT system unit with all in one printer and universal power supply were donated to two secondary schools in Okota, which made the total number of beneficiary schools to be eight.

She said that the donation was in tandem with what Rotary International stands for all over the world.

Jones-Adewale said that basic education was one of the six areas of focus as the bedrock and future of any nation in the 21st century.

“Regarding the empowerment, the impact is definitely going to be felt by the beneficiaries, their dependants and invariably the community.

“The items of empowernment will shore up the income base of the beneficiaries, the entire value chain involved in delivering the service, while also providing satisfaction to the consumers in whichever community they might be operating their businesses,” she said.

Commenting, Mr Jide Oderinde, the club Secretary, said that the effect of COVID-19 on Rotary Club generally had been very disastrous.

Oderinde said: “It has really held us back from doing our normal things, but still we went ahead under the leadership of a determined president.”

The secretary said that both international and at the centre, most of our meetings are now virtual, like this programme that we did today, we supposed to have done it long time ago, this Rotary year, the president is so committed.

“I salute her courage she went ahead and make sure that she accomplished all her set goals, because we are rounding up the Rotary year.

“But we thanked God, we are law abiding organisation; we don’t go contrary to the government directive.

“But, we put all the recommendations laid by government into place during the programme, we ensure we maintain social distances,” he said.

Oderinde said that the club president had completed her set goals.

Earlier, Mrs Tiitlope Okubadejo, a former President and Chairman Service Project, said that Rotary delighted to see people expressing their joy and satisfaction about what the club has been able to do for them.

Okubadejo said all these we have done today were just to ensure that we affect the lives of our community positively.

“Whenever we rise up between the Okota Community that we are from Rotary, we are happy the way people welcome us, because they know that we are positively impacting their lives,” she said.

A beneficiary, Mrs Bolanle Ariyo, said she was very happy that the club did not wait for the big things to happen before empowering them.

Ariyo said that she did not know anybody from the club, but was nominated to be among the beneficiaries, adding that what was given to her would go a long way, especially at this point in time.

She prayed that none of the club members will be victims of COVID-19.

Also, Mrs Mojisola Adeyoyin, the Headmistress, Low Cost Primary School II, responding on behalf of all beneficiary schools, said that the club had just addressed one of the major needs of pupils in her school.


Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Health

COVID -19: Gov.’s wife trains 60 women on face masks, hand sanitisers production in Zamfara

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Wife of Zamfara Governor,  Hajiya Aisha Bello-Matawalle has trained 60 women in production  of face masks and hand sanitisers, as part efforts to control  spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Speaking while flagging off the training in Gusau on Thursday, the governor’s wife’s  said: “This is another good response to the COVID -19 prevention plans for people of the state under Gov.  Bello Matawalle’s administration

“Few weeks ago, my office made relentless efforts to cushion the effect of the lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic among our women and vulnerable groups across the state.

“We provided palliatives and preventive materials including hand sanitisers, face masks, hand gloves, soaps, sensitisation flyers, clothing materials and foodstuffs.

“Our support to women in the state will still continue in the wake of the pandemic.

 “We deemed it imperative to mobilise local tailors from grassroots to produce home made PPEs.

“It is my honour today to launch the Mask-up Zamfara initiative programme sponsored under my office, which is a hand sanitisers and face masks production training programme for women in response to  COVID 19 prevention in the state.”

According to her, the training program which is targeting 20 women in each of the three senatorial zones, will be scaled up to all the fourteen Local Government Areas of the state.

“The training is aimed at capacity building for women and also to equip them to produce massive numbers of face masks and hand sanitisers as well as impacting the knowledge to other women.

 “Though Zamfara has been declared COVID-19 free, but the dust is yet to settle across the country.

“I hope that this initiative will bring positive impact on  the lives of women and children in the state,” she said.

She noted that the effort would make face masks and hand sanitisers more accessible to people at the grassroots level as part of government’s efforts of protecting people from infectious diseases.

“I want to use this medium to express my gratitude to my husband,  for his incessant support and advise to this laudable initiative, which amongst others has led to many tremendous successes.

I pray for Allah’s guidance and support for  his leadership to move the state to greater level,” she said.

The  governor’s wife urged women in the state to continue to take steps to protect themselves and their children against COVID-19 and other diseases.

She also appealed to people of the state to continue with prayers to Allah to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Politics

Kudirat Abiola: Women Arise marks 24 years remembrance of late MKO’s wife

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Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise, has saluted the efforts of Late Kudirat Abiola and other activists who fought for the return of democracy to the country.

In her tribute to the pro-democracy activist who was killed 24 years ago, Okei-Odumakin described Kudirat as a “slain heroine and mother of the struggle for democracy in Nigeria”.

She said that 24 years after Kudirat Abiola was killed, the wife of late winner of the annuled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, was still fresh in the minds of pro-democracy activists.

According to Okei-Odumakin, Kudirat stood like a colossus amongst the army of democracy defender, who stoutly resisted the unjust diktat that was the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election results.

The late Kudirat Abiola roared like a lion at many pro-democracy gatherings and marches and the vile dictators and their cohort trembled with trepidation.

“For her stubborn and uncompromising defence of principles, she was killed on the street of Lagos on June 4, 1996,” she said.

Okei-Odumakin said that pro-democracy activists remember Kudirat today despite the coronavirus pandemic that had made impossible physical gathering like they used to do in her honour.

She urged other activists to remain steadfast on the principle she died for and continue their demand for an end to wanton killings in the land.

Okei-Odumakin said they were also calling for the freedom for Leah Sharibu and all others in the gulag of terrorists.

“To those of them that have paid with their life, you did not die in vain. You died for our collective struggle and we will always remember what you stood for.

To Kudirat, whose date and fond memories vile dictators and their repressive measures could not obliterate.

To Kudirat whose contributions and sacrifice no pandemic can override or overrule,” he said.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children

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The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

“MWAN calls on the government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice is carried out for Vera Omozuwa, who was attacked and raped on May 27.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.

“We call on government at all levels to partner with forensic scientists and pathologists to create a national DNA database of convicted criminal and place CCTV cameras in public places,’” she said.

The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.

“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.

MWAN Edo as doctors, mothers, women, girls and females say no to rape. Save-a-girl child; save-a-woman and save-the world: No consent to rape”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.

Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Agriculture

Planting season: Women group seeks timely support for farmers

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Hajia Bosede Anifowose, the Kwara Coordinator of the Small Scale Women Farmers’ Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has called for timely support from the state government for the planting season.

Anifowose made the call on Wednesday in Ilorin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

She said that late release of farm inputs and agro-chemicals as support for farmers would be inimical to a prosperous farming season.

The coordinator appealed to the government to capture women farmers in whatever programmes it had for farmers in the state.

She said that women farmers constituted a chunk of farmers’ population in the state and the country at large.

“The way everything is silent is not too good for farmers. We are yet to hear from government on what they have for us.

“We had a meeting recently and the government officials there promised that government will provide supports.

“But whatever support government wants to do for farmers, particularly women farmers should be done now that new planting season has just commenced so that it won’t be too late.

“We have cases in the past where inputs and agro-chemicals are released late to farmers and this used to affect our harvests.

“We have been asked to submit a list of our members for supports and I have been in the ministry of finance many  times to enquire about what government has for us but nothing is forthcoming.”

Anifowose advised the state government not to pay lip service to crop farming, saying it was shocking that there was budget line only for livestock farming during the budget review session.

She said that the group would need support on government for irrigation to ensure round year farming among its members.


Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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General news

Akeredolu assures market women of govt.’s support to boost businesses

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The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu has reiterated government’s support to market women by providing enabling environment and other basic needs to boost their businesses in the state.

Akeredolu made this known on Wednesday when she commissioned market stalls renovated in Okeigbo by Ile-Oluji-Okeigbo Local Government.

She said building of markets served to complement government’s revenue to grow and develop the state’s economy.

She urged the market women to support the present administration to continue its good work for the people.

Mrs.Taiwo Adeoyin, the Ile-Oluji-Okeigbo Local Government Caretaker Chairman said her team was able to identify the needs of the people by promptly making  provision of modern market that would contribute to the economic development of the council area.

Adeoyin said that the market would go a long way to give numerous opportunities to the traders to market their goods both indoors and outdoors.

She commended Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, who stood by them and facilitated prompt release of funds for the execution of the project and other laudable projects scattered across the council area since her assumption of office.

She lauded the introduction of Forum of Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO), which was by initiated the governor’s wife, adding that the programme had reached out to numerous women and youths in the state in form of socio economic empowerment.

“It is indeed a new dimension of women and youth’s empowerment initiative as it applies the approach of skill acquisition for women across the 18 LGAs.

“I want to give Mr Governor the assurance of our unflinching support and total votes to you in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

“That is the only way we can continue to enjoy the good dividends of democracy for our people,” she said.


Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Foreign

Gang rape of undergraduate ignites anger about women’s safety in Nigeria

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Nigerian police have arrested a member of a gang suspected of raping and killing of an undergraduate in Benin, a southern city in Nigeria, a crime that ignited anger about women’s safety in the West Africa country over rape cases and brutality.

Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 23-year-old student of the University of Benin was raped by a gang of unknown men on May 27 and died a few days later in a local hospital. She was attacked in an empty church where she had gone to study.

The state police spokesperson Chidi Nwabuzor told media on Tuesday one suspect was arrested after the fingerprint on the fire extinguisher she was attacked with was examined.

“The item used in the assault, which was a fire extinguisher, was recovered, immediately the operatives who were with some specialists screened the finger prints which led to our suspect,” Nwabuzor said, adding the suspect was arrested around the place of the incident.

Nigeria’s police chief Mohammed Adamu had earlier deployed investigators to help speed up the investigations, assuring that the perpetrators of the crime will be brought to book in the shortest possible time.

Similarly, another 11 suspects were also recently arrested for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in the northwest state of Jigawa.

The suspects were arrested on Saturday after the police received a complaint that one of the suspects, aged 57 of Ma’ai village was seen at Limawa market in Dutse, the state capital, trying to lure the victim.

The crimes had continued to raise concerns and stirred reactions from Nigerians. Officials and observers expressed worry that many Nigerian girls and women might have experienced at least one form of verbal and physical abuse or assault in their lifetime.

Data on the number of reported cases is very limited, but a 2014 national survey on violence against children in Nigeria found that one in four women had experienced sexual violence in childhood, with approximately 70 percent reporting more than one incident. Only 5 percent sought help, and 3.5 percent received any services.

Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, in a statement sent to Xinhua on Wednesday said the government had directed the police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the gang-rape and murder of the student and sexual abuse of a minor in northwest Jigawa state by 14 men.

By bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crimes to justice, the government will be serving a strong notice of its total aversion to gender-based violence in whatever form, Mohamemd added.

On his part, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan has advocated for stiffer penalties for rape in Nigeria.

Lawan made the call on Tuesday in his concluding remarks on a motion over increasing rape cases and brutality against the girl child in the country.

According to him, having stiffer penalties in Nigeria’s criminal and penal code will serve as deterrent to perpetrators of the act.

In the same vein, Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, president of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria decried the rape and murder of Omozuwa, calling on the authorities to fish out and punish the culprits.

She described the incident as “devilish acts of unkind beings”.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Women protest cultists invasion in Rivers community

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Some women in Port Harcourt on Tuesday took to the streets to protest invasion of their community by gunmen suspected to be cultists.

The women, who are indigenes of Owube community in Ahoada West Local Government Area in Rivers, decried incessant attacks by suspected cultists in their community.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters later  converged at the Government House with placards reading: “Save Our Soul”, “Enough is Enough” and “We want to live”, among others.

Some of the women who spoke with NAN said that cultists were daily raping women on their farmlands.

They urged the Rivers Government and security agencies to intervene in the matter and protect them.

Mrs Florence Eric said that women in the community were now living in fear due to the frequent rape and kidnap by the hoodlums.

“The cult boys in our community do not allow us to go to our farmlands again. They attack, rape and kidnap us everyday.

“We can no longer go out to look for food to eat. We want government to help us in any way they can, because we need to survive this challenge,” she said.

Mrs Victoria Ekpeye said that the cultists were demanding ‘settlement’ from the community to end their siege on the area.

“The boys said they need money from us to leave the community, but they did not mention how much money they need,” she added.

On her part, Franco Confidence said the protesters decided to submit their petition to the state government after several concerted efforts made to end insecurity in the area failed.

She said after exhausting all options of ending the crises, that the community later engaged the services of a popular local vigilante.

The ONELGA Security, Peace and Advisory Committee (OSPAC) comes at night to secure the area, but the cultist now come in the afternoon to kidnap and rape women.

“We are really tired of living with this challenge for five years now. We want Gov. Wike to come to our aid, because we are tired of sleeping in the bush,” she said.

The protesters also called on the police to establish a police post in the community to end the rising insecurity in the area.  


Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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