empowers women

In fulfillment of her Ministry’s desire to end breast ironing among girls resident in Pigba community in the Federal Capital Territory, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Barr Uju Kennedy Ohanenye has endorsed a memorandum of understanding with the leadership of the community to end the harmful practice with attendant negative effects on the welfare of the girl child.
The Minister also presented about 50 grinding machines and 60 sewing machines as part of sustainable empowerment drive by the Ministry to reposition the socio-economic status of women in the community as part of measures to make them independent, support their husbands and also play active role as stakeholders in national development.
Speaking during the event, the Minister reiterated that her Ministry’s efforts to stamp out the age-long unwholesome practice is in keeping with the present dispensation’s renewed hope stance which strives to scale up the welfare and wellbeing of the Nigerian women and girl child, stressing that the Ministry has put in place coordinated strategies to eradicate all forms of harmful practices against the female gender.
“ the Ministry is strongly inspired by the policy thrust of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu which seeks give women their voice as active players in nation building and to ensure the welfare of the girl child, it is very unacceptable to subject our girls to this barbaric practice and Mr. President has been briefed and he frowns at it”
Continuing, she also commended the District Head, Chief Emmanuel Gade and his Chiefs for coordinating intensive awareness campaigns within the community to discourage breast ironing and added that the memorandum of understanding will go a long way to consolidate the partnership which the Ministry has initiated with the community to end all forms of gender based violence.
“ the Women Affairs Ministry will use this community as a pilot scheme to address other social vices prevalent within the FCT such as burying of new born babies with their dead mother and other negative norms” she added.
Responding, the District Head, Chief Emmanuel Gade thanked the Minister for fulfilling her promise and thanked her for presenting the grinding and sewing machines to the women adding that the community has resolved to end breast ironing and other forms of harmful practice which do not promote gender equality in the society. He also urged the Federal Government to provide basic amenities for the community such as health centre, bore holes, access roads and other infrastructures.
Speaking to media correspondents, one of the women who carried out the breast ironing practice on her daughter Mrs. Kande Ilya said that most of them were blinded by the age-long traditional belief that when a girl’s breast is ironed, it will make her less attractive to men and added that the Minister’s visit triggered off intensive awareness campaigns in the community on the side effects and medical challenges of breast ironing on girls. She also identified poverty as another factor responsible for some of the social vices prevalent in the community and thanked the Minister for the grinding and sewing machines which will enhance the socio-economic status of women in Pigba community.