The Rivers State Chapter of African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) held its first general meeting of the year on the 17th of February, 2022 at the Multipurpose Hall, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The general meeting which was tied to a lecture, tagged The African Woman: Her Health, Love and Relationships, was facilitated by the Guest Speaker, Rev. Dr. Blessing Nkeiruka Jonathan, a Spine Orthopaedic and Women’s Health Physiotherapist, a deputy director of Physiotherapy services in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Port Harcourt and founder of the Women Arise International Fellowship (WAIF).
The Rivers State Coordinator, Hilda Desmond-Ihekaire Ph.D (MCArb), admonished every member of the Association to support, hold up and identify with the current administration in whatever they are doing to achieve their objective of protecting the rights and interests of women and children. She further expressed her commitment to repositioning the association to efficiently and effectively achieve its objectives. She further stated that the present EXCO under her watch will continue to keep the promise it made on it’s inauguration on 4th Nov, 2020 to take care AWLANS through advancement sessions.
The resource person, Dr. Jonathan, espoused womanhood by the fact that whatever an African Woman can do, she does with unqualified diligence because she is bold, beautiful, multitasking, hard working, assiduous, full of life and zest. She is a teacher, doctor, caterer, musician, and so many things in one.
She described the strength of an African Woman in the acronym:
A: Addicted lover – protective
F: Faith in her lover
R: Rugged and withstands the storm, has a good shock absorber
I: Important, vital, crucial, irreplaceable
C: caring for hubby, children, inlaws, siblings and the needy, natural and unpretentious.
A: Adapts easily to any situation and any place.
However, she noted the fact that the African Woman’s strength is also her undoing, and so, the need to balance life with her work, family, ministry, etc. Her undoing was shown in AWLA acronym
A: always cares for others but not herself
W: watches over others
L: looks after others but not herself
A: anxiously interested in people.
This her selflessness is the cause of her nightmare, sickness and even death.
Mrs Jonathan also emphasized the need to care for ourselves by reminding us that If we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody will, and it is essential to pay attention to the person inside, which includes our health, the things we take in, food, information and our environment.
In addition, she asked the women to look after the vital parts of their body to avoid some certain issues like breast cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and stress related ill-health, and further highlighted some things women need to do and avoid such as,
- Run away from black bra and if you must wear it, it should not be more than 2 days.
- It’s healthy for your husband to suck your breast.
- breastfeed your child before you go for exercise if you’re breastfeeding.
- look after your vagina and do not introduce your fingers into it as it introduces infection.
- wear cotton pants, as other types could cause cervical cancer
- visit the hospital for a proper checkup
- anytime you want to take a health decision about yourself, meet an expert.
During the Q & A session, among the pertinent questions asked were what else could cause painful nipples apart from menstruation. The facilitator took her time to explain the importance of getting a personal doctor for medical history.
For obesity and weight related problems, she advised for a dietician for proper analysis. Regular exercise and natural weight-control activities were also recommended.
After the Session, there was the swearing in of the New Assistant Secretary Omawunmi Komolafe, Esq.
After the vote of thanks by Dr. Charity Kaniye-Ebeku the guest speaker took time to pray for and rededicated the Port Harcourt chapter of AWLA to God Almighty.
In her own remark, AWLA Rivers PRO, Rosebells Oviovo, Ph.D, MCI Arb, the essence of the event, which also doubled as a Love Feast, was to prepare members for healthy mind and body for the enormous task ahead and to show them love in action. Thus, the 2022 stage is set for AWLA Rivers.