Benue state traditional council has approved the inclusion of women in traditional leadership.
Ter Makurdi, His Royal Highness, Chief Vincent Aule made this known Thursday at a One-Day Stakeholders validation meeting on the proposed Widowhood Protection Bill and the proposed amendment to “a Law to Make Provisions for the Establishment of Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Councils In The State And For Purposes Connected Therewith, 2016” to include women in the traditional council of Chiefs in the state. The event was organized by Eunice Spring of Life Foundation in collaboration with Office of the First Lady of Benue state and Benue state Gender Based Violence Advocacy and Policy Implementation Committee held at Benue Hotels and Resorts, Makurdi, the state capital.
In her remarks, Benue state first lady, Dr. Eunice Ortom while enumerating the giant strides of women in political, social and economic growth in the society stressing, that the dehumanization of widows and girl child was a concern for all and called on Stakeholders to rise against harmful practices against Windows.
The first lady maintained, that no human being irrespective of their status should be made to suffer any form of abuses hence the need to collectively identify and draw up a list of the harmful practices suffered by widows among the four major ethnic groups in the state which should be abolished.
Mrs Ortom thanked the relevant stakeholders for availing themselves roles, contributing to the institution of a framework that will protect the human rights and dignities of widows, while promoting inclusive traditional leadership for improved prosperity of the people of the state.
She also urged those concerned to study and make critical inputs to the draft bills towards coming up with laws that will aptly capture the desires and aspirations of the people so as to have a state where everyone and every woman, irrespective of their marital status can live and enjoy their full rights unhindered.
On her part, the state Chairperson, Gender Based Violence, advocacy and policy implementation committee, Prof. Magdalyne Dura, disclosed that the bill on eliminating harmful widowhood practices was seeking to establish a commission that would be rehabilitating widows in the state.
Prof. Dura appealed to men to always protect their women and children against all manner of abuses.
The event was attended by various human rights groups, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Association of Women lawyers as well as law enforcement agencies amongst others.