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The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri and the Chief Judge of the State have urged female lawyers in Nigeria to redouble their efforts towards building a balanced line between family and professional practice in order to contribute effectively legal practice, build institutions and put an end to quick death associated with stress and other health challenges.

Governor Douye Diri, who was represented by his Deputy, Seenator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo during the opening ceremony of a two-day maiden workshop of the Nigerian Bar Association Women Forum (NBAWF), Bayelsa State Chapter with the theme, “The NBA Woman of Today: Striking a Balance Between Career Growth and Family Life as Well as Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle” held at the State High Court complex in the state capital advised practicing female lawyers to draw a line between family, work and their overall wellbeing, urged them to create time for relaxation with loved ones to prevent being burnt out.

According to him, countless young people die of hypertension and other preventable ailments nowadays because of stress, noting that society places so much demand on legal professionals, which leaves them with a huge work load.

He said “Drawing a line between your job as a lawyer and your family life is essential. Today many young people are dying of high blood pressure or hypertension because of stress.

“Society is putting much pressure on lawyers to deliver. But you don’t have to accumulate your job. You just have to do the job that is required for each day. Don’t allow it roll over to the next time, and don’t attempt to please everybody.

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“I want to encourage the NBA Women Forum to build systems and not individuals. More often than not, we build individuals, and if those individuals are corrupt, they end up corrupting the system. But if we build strong systems, there is no way a corrupt individual can corrupt such a system.”

He also noted that despite agitations for Justice and Equity in the polity, the present administration in the state have deliberately focussed on ensuring equity in protects allocation among the various Senatorial districts of the State by ensuring that projects are allocated to end inequality among the people.

According to him,”Here in Bayelsa State, the Prosperity Government is determined to ensure equity, and that is why all our developmental projects are geared towards achieving equity and balancing of the state.

“All the the three major roads- the Bayelsa West Senatorial Road, the Bayelsa Central Road, and the Bayelsa East Senatorial Road projects are all going on. That is equity.”

In her keynote address, the State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Kate Abiri, described the workshop as most timely, stressing that women lawyers need a work-life balance which comprises good health, marriage, family, rest and recreation.

The Chief Judge, who spoke through a Bayelsa High Court Judge, Justice Doris Adokeme, maintained that work-life balance can be achieved through making right priority to avoid work overload, paying attention to personal health, and delegation of duties.

Earlier in her welcome address, the state Lead of the NBA Women’s Forum, Mrs Dise Goddy-Harry, explained that the workshop was the first ever to be organized by the Forum in Bayelsa to promote the welfare, growth and upliftment of its members.

Mrs Goddy-Harry expressed optimism that the workshop would “inspire young and old female professionals to think and act in such a way that would enable them to excel both at their workplaces and homes.

Also the National Chairperson, NBA Women Forum, Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha represented by the National Secretary, Irene People Esq commended the initiative and said striking a balance between work and family will promote healthy and safe living for the female lawyers.

Earlier at the discussion session held at the event with the Chairman of the NBA,Yenagoa branch, Ukumbiriowei Saiyou, the Chairman,NBA,Sagbama branch, Igbomgbo Paraboma Nelson,Esq, the representative of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Senior Registrar,Community Medicine,Federal Medical Centre(FMC), Dr. Douye Indiamaowei-Ogio and the representative of the Female Financial institution practitioners in the State, Mrs. Jennifer Ada Richard agreed that due to the workload in the various sectors of the economy,women are struggling between comfortable family life and work

While Mrs. Jennifer Ada Richard, who is also the manager of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB),argued that despite the attending stress associated with women practicing in the banking sector,the last five years has witnessed changes that has reduced stress, improved family and work life for female bankers.

She pointed out that reforms put in place in the banking sector have empowered women to regain dominance in the banking sector with over 13 female emerging Branch managers at the FCMB out of 17 branches.

Dr. Douye Indiamaowei-Ogio of the Federal Medical Center also pointed out that due to improved advocacy for female medical practitioners, reforms have shown an appreciable balance between work and family life. She said the Government has increased the numbers of staff handling medical challenges and provide time for female medical practitioners to balance their home and work life.

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