Catholic leader demands strong laws protecting Nigerian women
The President of the Catholic Women Organisation of the Abuja Archdiocese, Mrs Ebele Okoye has called on Federal Government to make strong legislations to protect women against violence, noting that women have taken up male dominated roles.
She made this call at the 2023 Mothering Sunday Celebration and launching of Empowerment programme at the St Luke’s Catholic Church, Kubwa, Abuja.
She noted that the traditional social role of women and men for years has been that woman is the lady of the house who takes care of the family, being focused on children and their happiness while the men strive to fend for the family and also play the security role.
Mrs Okoye, however, said the modern world has created new occupational roles for women which are now equal to that of men.
“On the other hand, the traditional man is the “head” of the family, the one responsible for the maintenance of the house and who through strength and determination, defends it against dangers.
“Traditionally, men occupy the roles related to leadership (eg manager) which is associated with argentic characteristics like independent, competitive etc. Never the less, women have entered into male dominated roles including politics and doing very well too.
“The modern world has created a new role for women which is gradually approaching that of the traditional social role of men (e g working and earning money).
“At the same time, men’s work roles have remained relatively stable, men continue to participate full-time in the paid labour force.
She then said “men and women are like two equal wheels of a perfect chariot, if any wheel is short in radius, then the or lacking in dignity, the family cannot run its functions smoothly and cannot fully contribute its might to chariot cannot run properly. Likewise, if anyone of the spouse is short in position and not treated equally in the society.
“Wise people also compared wife and husband with chickpea seed and termed both of them like two pulses of a chickpea. When both pulses combined, they form a whole chickpea”.
She further said that every woman has the right to health, including sexual and reproduction health, yet for hundreds of millions of girls and women worldwide, these human rights are denied.
“Today and every day we must speak out forcefully for zero tolerance of all forms of violence against girls and women, also we must recognize that this is not a woman’s issue, but an issue that concerns us all Violence against women is not inevitable, families and communities can change social norms and attitudes especially those ones hindering women’s right.
“Government can put strong laws in place, enforce them and bring perpetrators to justice”, she added.
While speaking at the event, the President of CWO, St Luke’s Parish, Mrs Chizoba Okonkwo, said the theme ‘Protection of the Family: The Dignity of the Woman in the Society’ is pertinent noting that it was the best time to discuss Moral Decadence that is destroying the society.
According to her, Family by the definition of the Catholic Church is the domestic Church or the First Church and a lot of Efforts Should be put in the upbringing of the family to ensure adequate protection.
“Talking about Family Protection, the first thing that comes to mind is the power of Prayers as we cannot do it alone.
“There is a saying that a family that prays together stays together and therefore there is a compelling Need for us to take our prayer lives very serious and very committed and inculcate it in our Children as the saying goes that teach a child the way to grow and he will never depart from it.
“When a family is well protected through the act of prayers and good morals, the dignity of a woman in the society will be enhanced and it will permeate in all stratas of life as in the Saying that one who trains a woman trains a Nation because Women are the engine room and heart beat of the various families and by Extension the greater society”.
Okonkwo stressed that to celebrate the 2023 Mothers day in St Luke’s Parish Kubwa, the women will Investiture 22 of its members into the Motherhood status by virtue of their sound character, learning of Catholic Doctrine and Faith and Spiritualism.
“Also we will in the same vein give out 66 awards titled – The Church Builders Award to deserving Catholic Faithfuls of St Luke’s both men and women who have supported CWO and the St Luke’s Kubwa over the years”, she added.