Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
No fewer than 20 persons have been convicted by the Ekiti State family court since its creation in 2012, the state government has revealed.
The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Peju Babafemi, who made this known in Ado Ekiti, said 20 people were convicted for child neglect and deviance.
Babafemi promised justice and fair play through the family court, noting that a chief magistrate presides over the court in accordance with the stateâ€™s child rights law.
Stressing the commitment of the Fayose-led administration to the general wellbeing of women and children in the state, Mrs. Babafemi explained that her ministry has been repositioned to provide an enabling environment for women to live in an environment where there is justice, equity and respect for womenâ€™s rights. She highlighted governmentâ€™s focus to include ensuring a holistic development of women through educational, economic, social and political empowerment, monitoring gender responsiveness in the state, ensuring the survival, protection of children in preparation for meaningful adult life as well as promoting the welfare of indigent citizens and persons living with disabilities.
Noting that not even in developed countries can government alone single-handedly handle social welfare issues, the permanent secretary therefore solicited for the support of donor agencies, corporate organisations and well-to-do individuals in the efforts at improving the lots of women and children in the state.
According to her, the present administration in the state had made significant impact in achieving the desired goals in spite of the paucity of funds occasioned by the dwindling funds from the federation account.
Babafemi said her ministry has however embarked on advocacy visits to key stakeholders towards encouraging well to do individuals and corporate organisations to assist in making life meaningful for children in particular and securing the future of the nation. Listing the accomplishments of the ministry in providing social welfare services to include the running of a Women Skills Acquisition Centre at Igede Ekiti where 195 women have been trained in different skills, Babafemi said an was in the offing to train about-to-retire women civil servants on skills that could become their vocations after retirement.
Other institutions of government used to boost social welfare services in the state are the Erelu Adebayo Childrenâ€™s Home at Iyin Ekiti, the
crÃ¨che at the state secretariat that was built to ameliorate the challenges of nursing mothers in the state workforce.
She said 1,152 couples have been joined in matrimony at the Model Registry of the ministry since it was established in 2007.