CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN PALLIATIVES: ABUJA NGO, PROACTIVE GENDER INTIATIVE MAKES CASE FOR VULNERABLE WOMEN

An Abuja-based non-governmental and not-for-profit organization, Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI) has called for greater attention to women during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, stressing that women and children are the most vulnerable during crisis period.

Speaking in Abuja Thursday, National Coordinator of PGI, Bar. Esther Uzoma, said that the lockdown has further demonstrated why women need to be economical and political empowered as their findings have shown that more women have suffered one form of domestic and economic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is important to stress that the coronavirus pandemic has once again brought to fore the urgency of why women ought to be economically and politically empowered. Most women have faced domestic abuse from their partners because they are not in a position to support their families economically.

“Some women have found it difficult to access medical care because either they cannot move to any medical facility due to distance or the security personnel on the roads won’t simply be considerate to their plight. For instance, in Mpape, Abuja, a pregnant woman was caught up in movement lockdown and was dilating prompting other women to rally round her so that her life and that of her unborn child are preserved,” Uzoma pointed out.

She stated that if more women are politically empowered, they will be in a position to make pro-gender policies which she said were “sadly lacking.”
According to her, it was important for palliatives to be made available particularly to women and in a transparent and accountable manner.

Uzoma while commending the presidential taskforce on the Covid-19, urged the members not to relent despite some misgivings in some quarters, stressing that the committee should see this as an opportunity to make sacrifice for the greater good.

Also, she commended those in the frontline of the battle against Covid-19, medical personnel and the media, telling them, “you are writing your names in the annals of the country’s history. To all those in the medical sector, you must not waver, you must not tire as the first line of action in the coronavirus pandemic fight. Your worthy commitment is being documented and without a doubt, history will be kind to you.

“To the media and all those who have to work so that we stay informed and not have an entire system collapse, we at the PGI thank you and urge you not to relent.”

She further said the situation calls for a holistic review of the hazard allowances of medical personnel, while warning that the federal government not to allow the pandemic to weaponise hunger to become an incentive to public discord.