Non-governmental organizations have been urged to set up centers in local government areas so as to empower rural women and girls.
The Wife of the Governor of Rivers State, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, made this call while delivering her keynote address during the Medical Women Association of Nigeria Parallel event, at the ongoing United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 62nd Session in New York City.
Justice Wike, stressed on the need for women’s right protective services to be taken closer to the rural women to aid accessibility.
She urged women to access the laws as passed by the Rivers State Government, noting that Rivers state is one of the leading states in the passage of Laws protecting Maternal rights, Law against Widowhood Practices and other discriminatory practices and laws against Female Genital Mutilation.
She further called on women, in general, to support themselves in achieving the empowerment of women and girls in the rural areas, while lauding the synergy among Medical Women of Nigeria (MWAN), Nigeria Women Association of Journalists (NAWOJ) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in addressing gender-based issues.
Earlier in her presentation on Women’s Health and empowerment, Country Vice President FIDA and wife of the Attorney General of Rivers State, Mrs. Inime Aguma, noted with dismay that only 31% of currently married women participate in three specified decisions pertaining to their own health care, major household purchases and visits to their family and or relatives.
Mrs. Aguma called for sustained and not periodical awareness on women’s health and empowerment through pubic campaigns, media and advocacy visits as well as build support of the citizenry on women and girl child.