By Gabriel Ewepu
AHEAD of the inauguration of the 9th Assembly in June, women groups have tasked lawmakers to support and pass bills into laws to protect the interest of women, children and youth welfare.
Some of the groups advocating and urging the incoming lawmakers include Virtuous Women and Youth Empowerment Initiative, VWYEI, and Voice for Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO.
National Coordinator, VWEYI, Esther Akwo, the described plight of women in the country as pathetic, therefore the 9th Assembly should be proactive to ensure laws that improve their living standard are given the desired attention following their strength in voting the lawmakers to represent them.
“The 9th Assembly should be in the vanguard of ensuring these women and youth are given a sense of belonging by supporting bills and making laws that would drastically reduce the mass exodus of women and youth from the country.
“Some of them have been trafficked, engaged in drug business, cyber crimes, while others are into kidnapping, terrorism, ritual killings, prostitution including those who are dehumanized and subjected to slavery because of their condition and how they entered those countries through crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea for greener pasture, who in the process lost their lives”, she said.
Also speaking was the Founder of VOLPO, Dr Ego-Queen Ezuma, who said the 9th Assembly should strengthen existing laws that concern the welfare of women and also come up with new laws that would positively impact and make life meaningful for women, children and young people in the country.
“Millions of women, children and youth who are now vulnerable species of Nigerians who are virtually excluded to an extent because they don’t have access to basic social amenities that are provided for citizens to enjoy.
“Considering all these bedevilling factors and challenges our country is facing there should be laws the 9th Assembly should enact immediately to ensure the trend is reversed. This they can do in collaboration with the executive arm of Government to stem the tide.
“Also bills that would ensure access to quality health care for women and children by collaborating with State Houses of Assembly, State and Local Government Councils across the 36 states and 774 LGAs including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to resuscitate dead health care facilities and employ enough health officers with good welfare packages for their motivation to get to the hinterland.
“And also on the oversight function lawmakers should ensure these primary health care facilities are adequately equipped with state of the art medical equipment. With this, it would go a long way to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates across the country”, Ezuma stated.