Enugu, - The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) on Thursday said 15 minors were defiled in Enugu State between January and October.
The Chairperson of the association, Nkiru Ugwu-Nwabueze, who disclosed this in Enugu during the 2013 FIDA Week, said the affected children were aged between a day and 13 years.
"We have increasing cases of defilement in the state. This year alone, we have recorded 15 cases of defilement from a day old baby to 13 years in various courts.
"The suspects are not strangers but people who live with them. These are men they call uncles and brothers.
"We have cases of a father who defiled his three-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old defiled by her uncle," she said.
The chairperson said that some of the children, who did not receive urgent medical attention, had developed Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF).
Ugwu-Nwabueze urged mothers to be careful with who took care of their children as well as educate them on reproductive health.
She also urged the judiciary to speed up their cases, adding that the suspects were remanded at the Enugu Prisons and awaiting trial.
The chairperson also called for stiff penalty for suspects of defilement and rape.
Presenting a paper entitled "Women Empowerment, Gains and Challenges'', the Solicitor-General of the state, Chiemelie Onaga, urged parents to educate their female children to make them independent and self-reliant.
According to her, the best form of empowerment is education. "Once a woman is trained, she will contribute her quota to national development," she said.
Onaga expressed satisfaction with the performance of women in leadership positions in the country and commended President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, for uplifting Nigerian women.
A senior lecturer at the Faculty Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Frank Asogwa, urged the women to sustain the empowerment already attained through the girl-child education.
The theme of the FIDA week is "Women Empowerment and sustainable Development''.