Governor Udom Emmanuel has promised to ensure full enforcement of the laws prohibiting obnoxious and harmful traditional practices against women and the girl child in Akwa Ibom state.
He has threatened hard times for anyone who violates the rights of the girl child and widows, assuring that the state legal machinery would clamp down on culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.
The State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel stated these at the Year 2017 International Women 's Day Celebration held at Ibom Hall Ground, Uyo.
He described as humiliating, treatments meted out to women in the name of cultural practices, saying that the female gender who should be handled with tenderness, love and care are subjected to excruciating psychological torture which they do not deserve.
Affirming that, women play critical roles in the development of any society as mothers, wives and caregivers, Governor Emmanuel lamented that many women were still being subjected to abuses and discrimination in most parts of the world.
He described the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day - Be Bold For Change – as apt, calling on all as offspring of women, husbands, and citizens, to help forge a better and more gender-sensitive world.
“We should be bold enough to drive the process of changing the fortunes of our womenfolk in our spheres of influence. This should be evident in the way we treat our women and issues concerning them."
Mr Emmanuel stated that women must be adequately empowered to enable them cope with modern day realities and challenged the women to rise to her faith of greatness.
Governor Emmanuel congratulated the women on the celebration and reminded them of the struggle their forebears went through to secure equality and improved condition of service.
He announced plans to establish a flour Mill to address the challenges encountered by confectioners producers in the state.
The wife of the Governor Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel commended the United Nations for setting aside a day for women to be celebrated.
She said her pet project, Family Empowerment And Youth Re-Orientation Programme (FEYReP) has rolled out life - saving palliatives to the vulnerable and depressed men, women and children in the state and that the International Women's Day being marked in the state opens another window of opportunity to fashion out ways towards strengthening the fabrics of women and foster unity among them in the state.
The state first lady said that the theme of the celebration has thrown a challenge of boldness for change to the women and challenged the women to be seen in their actions, words and deeds as positive change agents in the society.
She thanked her husband Mr Emmanuel for the support given to the women for self sustainability saying that the gesture has culminated in the grand success recorded in this year's celebration.
Welcoming the guests, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Dr Glory Edet, acknowledged the support given to the Women by the State Governor, stressing that women have been sufficiently empowered to undertake business ventures.
She pledged the support of the Women to the State administration and prayed God to grant the Governor wisdom to pilot the affairs of the state.
Goodwill messages were presented by the Speaker State House of Assembly Hon Onofiok Luke, Wives of Local Government Chairmen, Dean College of Permanent Secretaries, Wives of Commissioners and State PDP Woman Leader. They expressed support to the Governor Emmanuel led administration.
The celebration which featured Empowerment packages for women across the three Senatorial Districts, Cultural Dance, ‘Dakkada’ creed recitation, exhibition and march past, climaxed in the presentation of a souvenir by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Dr Glory Edet on behalf of the Women, to Governor Emmanuel and a gift by the Deputy Speaker Princes Felicia Bassey to the wife of the Governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel.
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