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R/S Ministry of Women Affairs and Rural Women

JOEBA WESTOf recent gender inequality has taken a front burner both in the national and international discourse.

Women are struggling to be recognized in every sphere of our national life, especially in politics and the economic sector.

The 21st century women believe that, their roles have gone beyond the kitchen and that they can fit into any occupation in the present global economy. Before the coming of the colonial masters into the African continent, gender inequality was not visible. In the Traditional African Society, women played important roles to support their families and husbands, especially in the aspects of child rearing and other domestic functions such as cooking ad washing.

However, sociological theories have it that gender inequality is root in cultural transmission (socialization), religion and biological functions.

Whichever way women are clamouring for attention and recognition, which necessitated the creation of Women Affairs Departments in both local, state and federal ministries.

In Rivers State, the Women Affairs Ministry under the leadership of Hon. Mrs. Joeba West is on course, in terms of mobilization of women to support government’s programmes and policies. In as much as the state Ministry of Women Affairs is doing its statutory duties, the women in the rural areas are not feeling the impact of the Ministry. The Ministry is silent in the affairs of women who are residing in the local communities.

Last week, I paid a visit to one of the rural communities, women were seen labouring and doing farm work under the ferocious sun, using cruel farming implements such as hoes and locally made rakes.

Also in some local areas due to lack of modern medical facilities, pregnant women are still under going traditional means of medication and child delivery.

Several rural women have lost their lives through these primitive ways. Mrs. Joeba West should stop playing and hovering round the city women, most of them whose husbands are commissioners and top government functionaries and go down to the rural communities and see how women are faring.

It is very sad that the state Ministry of Women Affairs is not doing well in the local towns and villages. The time has come for the Ministry to identify the needs of the rural women and proffer solutions so as to uplift the living standard of the women in the rural areas for purpose of effective community development. ###


Damiete West



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