By Sunny A. Ijomah
Governments at all levels in Nigeria have been urged to give females more opportunities through programmes, sponsorships and political appointments as it would go a long way in boosting their confidence.
The Chief Commissioner, Nigerian Girls Guide Association, Mrs. Maria Sule, made the remarks at the opening of a six-day national advocacy camp at Ogbunike.
Speaking on the theme of the year’s national advocacy camp, “Raising Confident Girls,” Mrs. Sule said that such opportunities would instill confidence and more dignity in the girl-child and women to resist oppression and violence as well as help them build great career, family and businesses.
She said the national advocacy camp was organised to treat issues such as body confidence and self-esteem, gender based violence, advocacy campaigns, entrepreneurship and leadership development, among other crucial topics.
On her part, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Governor Willie Obiano reiterated the state government’s readiness to support and address issues affecting women, especially young girls in the state.
“It is our vision to develop young girls and women to reach their full potentials as responsible citizens,” she said.
She said the state government was determined to combat cases of forced child marriage, sexual exploitation, prostitution, trafficking, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and forced abortions among young girls and women.
Chief (Mrs.) Obiano recounted that she had built 20 homes for widows, trained and empowered over 5,000 youths, rehabilitated many mentally deranged persons and provided artificial limbs to physically challenged persons in the past four years.
She commended the association for raising its voice in the fight and protection of women and young girls against violence and abuses.
Chief (Mrs.) Obiano, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Local Artwork, Tourism and Diaspora, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, charged parents to instill in children love, humility, discipline, hard work and accountability.
“Teach them to take responsibility for their actions and to have trust, hope and faith in God,” she stressed.
Also speaking, Igwe John Umenyiora, the traditional ruler of Ogbunike community, stressed the need for girl-child education “because of their roles in the family and nation building.”
The monarch urged other organizations to join in the empowerment and education of the girl child financially, morally and materially.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to 26 persons in appreciation of their support in the fight against violence perpetuated against girl child and women in the society.
By Sunny A. Ijomah