The international federation of women of women lawyers FIDA have retreated on the need for women to be involved at all critical decision making in Ikwerre land amongst the chiefs and elders in council as most time this decision taken by the men for the women affects the women negatively.
The state chairperson of FIDA ANTHONIA OSADEME made the call at the monthly sensitization and awareness campaign to the Rumuagholu Community in Oboi/Akpor Local Government area in the state.
She said there’s need for women to be invited to the decision making table where critical decisions are to be taken especially concerning the welfare and well-being of the family
For his part the Chairman council of chief of Rumuagholu Emenike Amadi, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs welcomed the gathering, He said the community is working on laws that would accommodate everybody in the community. He said men are the head but women are Pillars, he chided that men and women play different roles in the community and urge men and women to play their role. He said the Rumuaholu community neither practice or participate in female genital mutilation and promised to ensure that women are involved in decision making AS touching aspects of women while the cultures will be maintained for posterity.
Other members of FIDA who participated in the outreach took out time to enlighten the chiefs and the community on various rights and laws available to women and urge them to utilize them as ignorant of the law is never an excuse.
Mrs. OSADEME also decried an increase in the raising cases of child defilement and urge mothers to be extremely careful with handling their little daughters, she said ‘’we have several cases of child defilement. The one we arraigned in court today is trafficking of an eight-month old child and a father who defiled his two years old child, I think the awareness have enhanced Reporting, people are now ready to report and speak out, because for a biological father to sexually abuse his child, is unthinkable but women are no longer hiding it. Because the culture of silence is broken, even when it affects the woman directly, they are now ready to speak up,
It shows that our awareness and monthly sensitization is paying off, it’s good to speak up due to the Trauma and medical reasons. Every abuse persons needs counseling, medically and emotionally. Secondly it’s for the best interest of the mother to speak up especially in the case of sexual abuse to avoid stigmatization and resentment by the child. Sometimes these children grow up to become resentful, ruthless, daring and stubborn, so treatment and counseling is important to avoid all these later threats.
Our duty as FIDANs is to Counsel them, mediate if its family squabbles and represent them at court seating’s free of charge. We work with the MEDICAL WOMEN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MWAN)to ensure that treatment is given free of charge. ‘’ you can see that we are here with them to ensure that women are tested for minor ailment and given prescription for further treatment. We also work with NIGERAIN ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN JOURNALIST (NAWOJ), their own role is to ensure that the message gets out there for people to listen and learn.