Gwagwalada Women under the auspices of ‘GwagsMoms’, a women based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) has charged the federal government on more committment to issues affecting women especially those at the grassroots, decrying the prevalence of Violence Against Women (VAW) leading to depression and deaths amongst women in Gwagwalada and it’s environs.
Founder of the organization Mrs. Josephine Efeokposio, gave the charge yesterday in Abuja during a picnic activity to celebrate the Eid Fitr holidays with Muslim faithfuls, expressing concerns on the growing violence in the society as a result of unhappy marriages and homes.
She said the gathering became pertinent to encourage women to create time to interact with fellow women, share life’s experiences, learn and mentor each other on issues affecting them such as home management, health, career choices, economic empowerment, skills acquisition amongst others.
Efeokposio stressed the need for the ministry of women affairs to have functional office in Gwagwalada, saying that this would bring government closer to the people and give women a sense of protection and guidance when in need.
“We have a growing unhappy society and children are being raised in violent relationships and result of this is that children are not properly parented because women are not in a right living condition. When you see a happy woman, you see happy children and happy society.
“Some women are being physically abused yet they can’t speak out because we are Africans and not meant to share our experiences rather we are meant to cover up our husband’s deficiencies and so a lot of women are so depressed that they have mental issues. This is alarming.
“I’m sure a lot of diseases women have is because of depression, pressure, and no time to relax so we organised this picnic just to enable women have a little time to relax for a few hours away from home.
“The Ministry of Women Affairs is trying but they haven’t achieved a lot in Gwagwalada area council. The ministry should have active offices in rural areas and work with women NGO’s like Gwags Mom’s who work directly with grassroots women in order for greater impact on women,” she added.
Legal Adviser to the organization, a member of FIDA Gwagwalada branch, Hephzibah Ugo-Nnanna, noted that more cases of VAW is being recorded with lots of women not knowing they are being abused due to poor economic conditions, calling on government to empower more women with skills acquisition and capital for business startup to enable them fend for themselves and families.
“There is a prevalence of VAW in Gwagwalada and it’s environs and we try at FIDA we listen to cases and if a woman’s life is threatened in the home we advise she be seperated while we help them work out solutions but if the situation is not life threatening most times it is economic pressure on men that causes physical violence so we advise the woman on what to do to be economically empowered to support her home.
“Government is trying by organising skills acquisition for women but it’s a great disservice after being trained and there is no capital to continue the skill you have been trained to do.Government should reach out to the grassroots women through informal sectors such as the Gwags Mom’s in order to bring the government closer to people,” she said.
A Banker and member of the organization Mercy Bazuaye, appealed to government to ensure implementation of policies that guides and protects women and children, while urging the society against always blaming women for failed marriages without knowing the actual problem which is usually difficult for women to share to the general public.
“Parents should also work harder to avoid broken homes so as to raise good children. There are lots of divorces now due to violence but parents should ensure this is curbed to enable a better next generation,” she stressed.