The Northern Governors’ Wives Forum said the forum would partner with development agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to address girl-child education and violence against women.

This information is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of the forum in Abuja on Tuesday.

The communiqué was jointly signed by the wives of governors of Benue and Katsina, Mrs Dooshima Suswam and Hajiya Fatima Shema.

It resolved to take urgent steps to address poverty among women, Vesico Virgina Fistulae (VVF) and other health issues affecting women.

“On the problem of poverty, girl-child education, VVF and violence against women and children, the forum resolved to partner with development agencies, government and NGOs to address these problems.

“This will be done through empowerment programmes, massive enlightenment campaign and advocacy which will, therefore, ensure the development of the region and Nigeria in general,’’ it said.

It stated that the forum would advocate for free medical care for women at all levels.

The communiqué appealed to pregnant women to endeavour to attend antenatal care and deliver their babies at health facilities instead of traditional homes.

According to the communiqué, there is the need for expectant mothers to avoid prolonged labour to stem the rate of maternal and infant mortality.

It commended the state governors for their commitment to health care delivery in their various states through the massive employment of health personnel, and added there was still the need to recruit more officials.

It also pledged to work with the state Houses of Assembly to ensure that the states that were yet to pass the Child Rights Act do so as soon as possible.

On the issue of rape, the forum resolved that parents should report rape cases when their children or wards were raped irrespective of the persons involved.

The forum further resolved to be committed to the ideals of the forum by working together to develop a strategic plan in order to have a coherent plan of action.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that only wives of seven state governors attended the meeting, hosted by the wife of Zamfara governor, Hajiya Hadiza Yari.

The states were Kogi, Gombe, Niger, Benue, Adamawa and Katsina while Kwara was represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Felicia Kisira. (NAN)

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