Non-Governmental Organizations have been urged to set up centres in local government areas. Wife of Rivers State governor, Justice Eberechi Suzette Nyesom-Wike who made this call while delivering her keynote address during the Medical Women Association of Nigeria Parallel event, at the on going United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 62nd Session in New York City, stressed the need for women’s rights and protective services to be taken closer to the rural areas to aid accessibility.
Justice Wike urged women to access the laws as passed by the Rivers government, noting that the state is one of the leading states in the passage of the laws protecting maternal rights, laws against widowhood practices and other discriminatory practices and laws against female genital mutilation.
She further called on women to support themselves in achieving the empowerment of women and girls in the rural areas, while lauding the synergy among Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Nigeria Association Women 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, the 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 or relatives.
She called for sustained awareness on women’s health and empowerment through public campaigns, media sensitization and advocacy visits as well as support of the citizenry on women’s health.