By Perpetua Onuegbu, NAN
A group, Women of Reliable Destiny (WORD) an NGO has called on the Federal Government to make welfarist policies that would ensure that women, children and youths are well protected and provided for in the country.
The President of the group, Mrs Vivian Ibrahim made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday during the group’s Annual General Meeting/Get Together in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association was established in 2017 with the Mandate to build strong households by empowering women, especially widows with skills.
Ibrahim said that women and children were the most vulnerable segments of the society.
She added that they were the ones that were usually less privileged in the society therefore their interests should be protected by the government.
“Government should make policies that will ensure that the rights of women, children and the youths are protected.
“This is because, they are not in positions of authority to make laws that will ensure their welfare; and they do not have the privilege of being in control of wealth or resources .
”The least that should be done is to make policies that will ensured their well being,” she said.
According to her, women and children are not protected in many societies in Nigeria, including home and places of work
“Many women are discriminated against just because they are female, not because they are not competitive or imaginative enough.
“In fact, when they are good at whatever they do, they are antagonised against by the men folk.
“This situation always put the woman on the defensive and this should not be the case.
She suggested that government should make policies that will make it easy for women to be in control of resources and therefore tackle gender issues.
Ibrahim said when the government does this, issues of gender violence, discrimination, child violation and molestation would be a thing of the past.
Ibrahim urged government to tackle the continued depreciation of the naira, adding that it is still the woman that feels the heat of the state of the economy as even the little resources she had is swallowed up by inflation.
“There is no amount of money you have now that is sufficient, it is not easy at all, we can hardly buy anything with the money we take to the market.
“Before N50,000 will buy a bag of rice, beans, garri, meat and other things, but now just a bag of rice takes that same amount.
“Government must bring up a welfare package that can help cushion the hardship citizens are going through; the inflation must be arrested so that the hardship can reduce,” she said.
Speaking on the get together of the group, Ibrahim said the occasion was organised so that members of the association could get to unwind, relax among friends and associates.
“It is the time of the year when we can at least take a breath, forget about work, family issues and just let our hair down.
“365 days in the year, 52 weeks, 12 months running up and down, it is good to take a few hours off and just relax, reorganise our senses and just take off time to rest.
“In this country, because of so many issues, women forget what it means to relax. But I am encouraging everyone not just women; we all need to relax and allow our bodies and minds to rest from all the hustle and bustle.
“We need to learn how to live not just to exist,” the group’s president said.
Meanwhile, a member of the group, Mrs Grace Samuel said the season was a good time to take stock and just count our blessings.
According to her, it is one of the reasons why the group have come together to celebrate themselves and thank God for seeing everyone through.
“Having been through all we have as a country, as families and as individuals it is worth our while to relax and forget all problems facing us, because as they say ‘problems no dey finish’,
just leave it at the feet of Jesus and let him take control.
“Am also using this opportunity to call on the government to do something about the inflation in the country. We have never had it so bad, President Bola Tinubu should do something, if he indeed meant well for Nigerians.
“He should call on the CBN and his economic team to device strategies to make our naira more valuable again.
“Let there be a Renewed hope for our currency, our salaries barely takes us out of the office now and never takes us home,” Samuel said.
Similarly, Mrs Angela Erijiakpor, the group’s Matron while thanking God for seeing the group this far called on women to take care of themselves as they are taking care of their families.
“You also have to be in good health to care for your family, therefore we should also take time out to attend to our body’s needs.
“Occasions like this should be encouraged to ease off stress, celebrate ourselves, eat, drink, exchange experiences and ideas, and most importantly, recount our victories and testimonies of 2023.
On what government should do to ensure that gender issues are tackled head-on, Erijiakpor advised government to encourage more women in governance.(NAN)