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Women Affairs Minister Fetes Party Women Leaders .... Says women economic empowerment under her leadership of the women affairs ministry is poised to be changed

Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye
Hon. Minister, Women Affairs

..... Decries rising statistics of female genital mutilation (FGM).

.... Says The laws have always been there, but we need to make example of some persons who persist with the wicked acts against our children and young women."

The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye on Monday, 11th September,  hosted women group leaders, which was well embraced by her fellow political party women led by the All-Progressive Congress (APC) Women Leader, Dr. Mary Alile.

The Minister had the rare privilege of sharing her vision for Nigerian women and children.

Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, while receiving Dr. Alile who was on a courtesy visit, enthusiastically shared her vision with her guests stating that women economic empowerment under her leadership of the women affairs ministry is poised to be changed and the business of Nigeria women especially the unreached rural women will be touched.  

The Minister, in a statement issued and signed by Olujimi Oyetomi, the Director, Press and Public Relations, stated that she will employ town criers to reach those who do not watch television or read newspapers to urge them to readily form themselves into women cooperative groups with her vision to provide them with economic empowerment materials, tools and equipment. 

"Rather than give them fish, I will teach them skills and vocations and supply needed tools and equipment which they can use to boost their small trading. By this, they will complement their husbands and train their children." She stated.

She added that the Ministry, under her watch will go forward to help "find local and international markets for the products of the women."

This exposition found ready acceptance with the party’s women who applauded Barr. Kennedy-Ohanenye.

The Minister also invited her guests to join her in her renewed fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) as she plans to sensitize perpetrators of the crime against Nigerian women and girls including those still in the habit of practising demeaning widowhood rights to get ready to answer to the VAPP and Child Rights Acts.

Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye decried rising statistics of female genital mutilation (FGM) which she remarked has spread from the previous five, now to eight States with perpetrators feigning ignorance of knowing that the practice is prohibitive. "The laws have always been there, but we need to make example of some persons who persist with the wicked acts against our children and young women."

The Honourable Minister also stated that the maternal mortality rate of 512 deaths per 100,000 live births which is nowhere near the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’s target of 70 per 100,000 is not acceptable hence her desire to revitalize women and children’s hospitals across the federation.  

"We have been visiting hospitals to help pay off some treatment bills of some indigent patients, and that is a better way of impacting the poor people."

She revealed that these espoused visions have been with her for long and that is why she will for long be grateful to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for appointing her to a position where she will be able to give vent to her vision.

Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye queried the rationale where donors, especially development partners have been ploughing their funds to eradicating these scourges of Nigerian women and children yet, there has been little or nothing to show for it and they did not withhold their funds until things were properly done with positive results?  She stated that her plan was "not to probe the past but to plan what we should all be doing from now, going forward."

Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye further espoused the vision to take skills and vocational development to schools and custodial centres.  

"We have been seeking the partnership of the Honourable Minister of Education (HME) to allow inculcating skills and vocational training of students in Nigerian schools where students are taught the production of sanitary pads, toothpick, match stick and boxes, dress making and such others; that when we bring in some machines and equipment that will enhance the production of these items and we find markets for them, such rewarding things will be beneficial to the students when they are through with their studies and some of them go into bigger mode of production."

"We are also seeking the cooperation of the Honourable Minister of Interior for us to replace and re-equip the female inmates of some custodial centres in the country with better, newer and more efficient work tools like dress making machines and other needed machines to revolutionize the reformation of the non-condemned female inmates," the Minister added.

The Minister affirmed that she planned for this to be "within the first 100 days in office."

The visitors include: Mrs. Ahonsi Dora, Hon. Bekky Sulem, Hon. Golda Osikhena, Dame Vera Sadoh, Pastor Mrs Mabel Obetoh, Dr. Philomena Eriyo and Pharmacist Honourable Kenny Okojie.

The All-Progressive Congress (APC) Women Leader, Dr. Mary Alile, as well as Pharmacist Honourable Kenny Okojie, expressed the desire of the APC women to champion Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye’s vision of ensuring that students are taught how to produce sanitary pads for their use and even market some along with other products they may be taught how to produce under the skills and vocational impartation of the Honourable Minister, Uju Kennedy- Ohanenye.

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