Chris Steven, Abuja

Catholic Reverend Sisters across the country have urged the Federal Government to take more action on the rising wave of sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women and children in the country.

They gave the charge on Wednesday in Abuja at a week-long international conference and empowerment project for the nuns themed: “Service, Advocacy and Change: Reverend Sister and Nation Building” organised by the African Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), a Washington DC faith-based organization working with the United States Congress to advance US policies towards Africa and empower African communities to promote governance and common goods.

The AFJN Coordinator African Women Project Reverend Sister Eucharia Madueke said the conference would address Changing the Culture of Waste: A Path to Poverty Reduction in Nigeria; Violence Against Women and Children; Food Security and Food Sovereignty; and Challenges in Enforcing Laws that Protect Vulnerable Women and Children.

“Throughout the country, Catholic Reverend Sisters are linked to a large constituency of Nigerians. They work closely with the grassroots and have played a great role in capacity and nation building through education and diverse forms of social services throughout Nigeria; they have enabled many Nigerians to enter the main stream of social, academic, economic and political life.

“The sisters are now poised to channel some of their energies beyond service provision into changing the structures that keep Nigerians in poverty and prevent them from realizing their full potential.”Madueke said.

Also speaking the AFJN Executive Director Reverend Aniedi Okure said the leadership must be accountable to the people and that safety and well-being of the people remain paramount since the people seems to be the employers of those in authority.

“The sexual violence and other abuses against the women and children must stop and it is the responsibly of the government to lead the way for that. The sister will also carry this advocacy to the National Assembly,” he said.

A former Governor of Anambra State Peter Obi in his keynote all Nigerians are guilty of the self-inflicted challenges facing the country through being embedded in the culture of wastages leading to corruption in the country.

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