THE Chairman, Cross River State Council of Chiefs and the Paramount Ruler of Qua Community, His Royal Majesty, Ndidem Thomas Ikaka-Ogua III, has stressed the need to fight against all forms of traditional practices that militate against women’s participation in politics and nation-building.
Receiving the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Usman Bangudu, who paid him a courtesy call yesterday in Calabar, the monarch said some traditional practices have placed women at a disadvantage, thereby denying them the opportunity to contribute to the development of their environment, state and the nation.
He observed that women should be economically and politically empowered to vie for political positions at all levels, adding that it is primitive to say that “women’s education ends in the kitchen”.
His word: “It is primitive to say the women should have their place in the kitchen. The traditional council in this state is fighting against harmful practices that relegate women to the background and we want to ensure that women are given a political space to compete favourably with their men counterpart”.
Ikaka-Ogua appealed to political parties to put in place structures that would enable women participate actively in politics, as well as vie for any position of their choice.
The paramount ruler, who threw his weight behind the passage into law of the Child Rights Act, stated that the state government is in the process of passing the bill into law.
He added that other issues raised by the minister are among those currently being addressed by the traditional institution in the state.
He decried the high level of poverty in the rural areas in the country, stressing that the country is so rich that there should be no form of poverty in the country. He called on the Federal Government to take decisive steps towards addressing the problem of poverty in the country.
Earlier, the minister, who was on an advocacy visit to the state, told the traditional ruler that the traditional institution was a vital link in the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure that every segment of the society participates fully in the development of the nation.
He appealed to her to use her position to sensitise and educate his subjects to desist from practices that hurt the social, physiological and psychological health of women.
Bungudu solicited the support of the traditional institution in the re-orientation to eliminate the aspects of culture that undermines the status of women and the welfare of children without destroying the traditional values that have proved beneficial to the society.
Bungudu, who also visited the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Francis Ada, observed that children must be protected from economic exploitation and from performing tasks detrimental to their mental, moral and social development.
He also urged the House to domesticate the Child Rights Act without further delay.
The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Dominic Edem, said the House had concluded arrangements to pass the Child Rights Act into law before the end of the year.