The 37th Anglican Diocesan Women’s Conference (ADWOC), which ended on Sunday, has decried the rising cases of violence against women in Nigeria.
ADWOC made the lamentation in a communique issued at the end of its four-day conference, attended by a record 850 members at St Stephen’s Parish, in Ifitedunu community, Dunkofia Local Government Area of Anambra.
According to the communique, violence against women are in the areas of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, psychological attacks and domestic violence.
Conference acknowledged the existence of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law 2017, now operational in Anambra State, which criminalizes the various forms of violence against persons and providing adequate punishments for offenders.
While urging victims of violence to speak up and speak out, the conference called on both state and non-state actors to rise to the occasion and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.
It observed the prevalence of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) due to the early exposure of the youths to sexual activities.
“These infections are asymptomatic with a high risk of transmission which could lead to infertility,” it said and advised women to undergo regular tests for infections as early detection could save life.
Conference said women should eat more of fruits and vegetables to build their immune system which will help the body ward of STIs.
On national politics, the conference congratulated the President, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on their successful inauguration, and enjoined them to assiduously work towards the accomplishment of the items clearly spelt out in their Manifesto..
The conference commended the President on the key appointments made so far and urged him to maintain some regional equity in further appointments.
“Do not relent in institutionalising good governance in Nigeria so that peace, progress and unity will reign. You should embrace an all-inclusive government, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations,” the communique quoted conference officials as saying.
The conference appreciated the courage of Mr. President in embarking on new economic policies like Harmonization of foreign exchange and the removal of fuel subsidy.
It said, however, that the sudden changes in the economic space have taken the cost of living out of reach of the poor and vulnerable.
“This has brought untold hardship to the poor,” it said, pleading with the government to introduce palliative measures to cushion the adverse effects of these new policies.
It suggested an upward review of the minimum wage as soon as possible.
The conference believes that Anambra State has the potentials to be a leading voice in sound economic policies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the highlight of the conference was the decoration of 93-year-old mother, Mrs Patience Ucheufuna, as the “profile mother for the year 2023 women’s conference”, for her work in the church and community.
Ucheufuna, sources said, laboured in the Lord and God has granted her grace to eat the fruits of her labour, aptly the theme of the conference.
“We appreciate God for the reward of longevity specifically in the life of the profile mother and her family.
Holy Trinity Church, Ifite Nibo, will host the 38th Awka Diocesan Women’s Conference and second Mothers’ Union Conference, in 2024.
The Diocesan women conference is an annual programme of the Anglican communion..
On a sad note, however, the Conference said it was saddened by the demise of Most Revd Maxwell Samuel Chukwunweike Anikwenwa, the former Bishop of Awka.