From Wilson Okereke, Afikpo
The National Population Commission (NPC) has urged that women and girl-children in Ebonyi State be given access to make choices.
This is as the Ebonyi State Government said that it would give them all the encouragement they deserve to excel.
Commissioner for Budget, Planning, Research and Monitoring in the state, Mrs Deborah Okah, stated at the state’s belated commemoration of World Population Day, that efforts were geared towards the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to gender equality.
The annual programme organized by the state ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) could not hold on July 11, due to some exigencies in the ministry.
Reading the address of NPC’s Chairman, Nasir Kwarra, the commissioner appealed to the component members of State of the World Population Report (SWOP) including Nigeria, to give women and girls opportunities to express their rights and make indiscriminate access to choices.
She assured that government would continue to partner the state governor’s wife, Mrs Maudline Nwifuru in the protection of the rights of women and girls in the state especially against some unpleasant cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation.
On the theme, “Unleashing the power of gender equality, uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities,” she said no country will achieve the SDG 5 unless the females were allowed to live free from all forms of discriminatory laws and customs and culture that limit their potentials including gender-based violence and other harmful practices.
“The people should be given the right to choose when they would marry, when to start having children and decide freely the number and spacing of children without compulsion and discrimination,” she said.
State Director, NPC, Mrs Juliana Manyike, said the event was to seek answer on how the special group of people would express their rights and have unfettered access to make choices that would benefit them in the world of eight billion persons.
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