From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In an effort to lower maternal mortality and other maternity-related difficulties among poor women as well as support and provide intervention in the areas of need, the Abuja branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has adopted the labour ward of the Gwarinpa General Hospital.
International Director FIDA, Ezinwa Okoroafor, announced the adoption Friday, during the group’s hospital visit, as part of activities of the 2022 FIDA (Nigeria) Abuja branch Law Week with the theme: Addressing the Concept of Gender Justice in Nigeria.
Noting that the decision formed part of FIDA’s ‘Adopt A Ward Initiative,’ Okoroafor said: “I thought that it’s apt because each time a woman gives birth she puts her life on the line. Giving birth is a service to the nation and contribution to national development; so we don’t want a situation where a woman puts her life on the line because she wants to contribute to nation building and that’s why we are adopting this labour ward and FIDA is contributing in ensuring that every woman who gives birth as much as possible, the incidents of death arising from giving birth and other maternity issues are reduced.
“While FIDA adopts a ward we call on well meaning Nigerians within and outside Abuja to come together to see what can be done to improve the facilities here because where the hospital works, the society is better for it and everybody benefits – women, children and men also.
“FIDA exists to protect the interests of women and children and this is based on the realization that the happiness of the home and strength of society depend on the wellbeing of women and children so when women and children are happy the home is happy and the society is better for it,” she added.
Okoroafor emphasized the importance of victims of gender-based violence (GBV) speaking up and seeking assistance, lamenting the fact that perpetrators have persisted because many cases were not reported due to stigma.
“Women should not listen to platitudes or give in to pleas when they suffer GBV because when we allow the law take its course and people are properly sanctioned for doing the wrongful thing then the likelihood of a repeat is reduced. So we advise women to speak up so that whoever violates is appropriately sanctioned,” she said.