By Ikenna Uwadileke
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen, on Thursday in Abuja, urged women to be active participants in developmental programmes crucial in nation building.
Tallen made the call at the launch of a nine chapter novel titled “Fruit of Pain’’.
The minister, while explaining the ordeals of women in the society, said that their role in shaping the society could not be overstated.
According to her, to change, Nigerian women have to be at the centre stage of any developmental programme.
“Any programme that doesn’t involve women is a wasted effort,’’ she said.
Tallen, however, solicited the support of men to ensure that women actualise their dreams and contribute to the growth of the country.
She said: “I want to see men who are supportive of their wives and then we see better homes. I encourage men to support the course of what women go through.’’
While canvassing for improved maternal care in the country, Tallen called for concerted efforts to reduce maternal mortality.
“No word to describe the pain of child birth; if a woman describes the pain she undergoes during labour, no woman would go for a second child.
“But the moment you hear the cry of the child all the pain vanishes and the moment the child begins to crawl the woman begins to think of having another child,’’ Tallen said.
Mr Charles Usie, Representative of Christian Aide, a non- governmental Organisation, in a goodwill message, said that about one million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes by conflicts between January and March.
According to him, 70 per cent of them are women and girls.
“Some of them have been displaced up to the 4th degree and imagine a pregnant woman being displaced, so a book of this nature provides what could be done at this critical time,’’ Usie said.
The author of the book, Mrs Mabel Ade, said that the quest to raise awareness for improved maternal care and to achieve sustainable development prompted her to write the book.
“I realise that spaces need to be expanded as well as firm narratives put forward to confront the numerous challenges that women face in Nigeria.
“Despite efforts at safe motherhood, there is an expedient need for improved maternal care and better delivery systems across Nigeria,’’ Ade said. (NAN)