The President, Soroptimist International, Enugu, Dr Anthonia Ekwo has cried out against the high rate of sexual harassment involving young girls in Enugu State.
Ekwo told newsmen in Enugu that the development was worrisome, predicting that the despicable act would bring stigma on the people of the area.
Anthonia Ekwo explained that Soroptimist International is a global organisation recognized by the United Nations, to handle certain vexatious social issues.
She noted with dismay reports of domestic violence targeted at women and even toddlers. Ekwo, who is the Nigerian representative of the group, said that the services of the club were centred on the empowerment of the girl-child and vulnerable women.
“Our concentration is on women and the girl-child. We have an adult literary centre at Agbani, Enugu and have empowered no fewer than 30 women.
“Our target is to reduce domestic violence and to ensure that our young girls are not sexually harassed. “We want to make sure that women are not treated like slaves and for their voices to be heard in all spheres of life,” she said.
Ekwo also frowned at the level of poverty among women in rural areas of the state, adding that a lot needed to be done by the government to alleviate the plight of such people.
She said that the organisation would offer free legal services to any woman whose rights were infringed upon. Also speaking, the National President of the organisation, Mrs Bona Udebiuwa, said that the group had assisted women with health challenges.
Udebiuwa said that the group had built the capacity of women across the country. “We provide free health services to women in the areas of cancer, stress and nutrition and have built and donated maternity wards to some communities around the country.
“We want our presence to be felt in Enugu State and that is why the chapter has assisted some market women to get loans to start businesses,” she said. Udebiuwa called on government at all levels to cede more elective and appointive positions to women as a source of their empowerment.
– Amah Baldwin