SOURCE: Premium Times

Mrs. Kennedy-Ohaneye says the women's affairs ministry is setting up cooperative societies to empower women.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, says her ministry has concluded plans to constitute a mobile court to try Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases.

The minister, who said this at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that it was aimed at increasing the visibility of the activities of the ministry in dealing with SGBV issues.

Mrs Kennedy-Ohaneye disclosed that among the would-be culprits to be arraigned at the court were those still practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to put an end to the practice nationwide.

The minister said the board of the ministry has given its tacit support to the ministry's determination to give women a voice in society.

"This will be done in line with Mr President's renewed hope agenda," which promises "to allow the poor to breathe and not to be suffocated," she said.

According to Mrs Kennedy-Ohaneye, the dispensation of cases at the mobile court will be in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Ministry of Justice, the Nigeria Governor's Forum, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and security agencies.

She said partnering with other organizations was to have an innovative way to enforce the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, and other laws to guide against SGBV, GBV, and FGM.

According to the minister, the program of distributing sanitary towels to students will be transformed into the setting up of a "Sanitary Pad Production Centre" as the old method can no longer be sustainable."

Mrs. Kennedy-Ohaneye also said the ministry has stopped the old practice of the distribution of gas cylinders to rural women.

"it's no longer sustainable, as the ministry is now concerned about who refills the gas cylinder for these women when it's finished," she said.

She disclosed that the ministry would change the old support method to charcoal burners and bio-gas stoves because of its cost-effectiveness.

Mrs Kennedy-Ohaneye added that the ministry had concluded plans to set up cooperative societies to empower women.

The scheme, she said, would be run in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Traders Associations, and other international organizations.

The minister assured Nigerians that its creche and other assets, currently underutilized, would be revived and begin to function optimally within her first 100 days in office.

"The ministry has opted to encourage all women groups to form cooperatives and register with the ministry.

"The aim is to enable the ministry to empower them with different production machines to boost the nation's economy, the livelihood of women, and for national development," she said


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