Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, the wife of the Lagos State Governor, has frowned on the prevailing menace of domestic violence , just as she urged women in the state to pay due attention to their health. Charging them to speak out against social vices like domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy, she said such vices are unacceptable in civilized climes.
Ambode gave this charge at a women’s forum organised by her, at the Police College, GRA, Ikeja, to address issues of women’s health and recurring social vices in the society.
While noting that good health was a prerequisite for every other thing, including good attention to children and family, business and even political activities, stressing that without good health, she said nothing meaningful can be achieved without it.
According to her, health is wealth because good health is the gate way to everything. She noted that to have good health, people need to take care of their body, mind and soul.
She said, “It is when we have good health that we can run around for business, take care of our homes, our children or engage in political activities. When we have sound health, we can better attend to all issues and concerns.”
The governor’s wife who condemned the high rate of prevalence of social nuisance in the society, told the women to boldly voice out their discontent against domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy.
She described the attitude as barbaric and unacceptable in civilized climes, charging women to seek to know their rights under the law, to shun silence and be vocal voices for their own cause.
Ambode said: “Importantly too, we would be examining the rights of women under the law, in the face of persistent social problems. When we know our rights, we can speak and act better, to protect ourselves if and when those circumstances arise.”
She reminded the women of their natural role as mothers and coordinators of the family unit, which according to her impose on them the salient responsibility of bringing up their children in the most decent way for a decent and moral society.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, said the forum provided a platform where women could engage in sustainable discourse, to increase their knowledge and enhance their awareness, on health and well-being as participants.
Adebule said it was unfortunate that 23 years after countries signed pledges in 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, women still face many health-cum-social problems, saying that there was need for recommitment to address them.
She urged Lagos women to embrace sustainable advocacy and take conscious action on matters concerning their health and how they were treated by the society at large.
“We should no longer be stereotyped into silence but become vocal advocates for improved health delivery system and social justice for women in Lagos State and the country.
“As critical stakeholders, our role must be focused on investing and increasing access of more girls and women to good health, quality education; ensuring that laws that respect and ensure the rights of women are enforced and help create gender-posture media messages that support women and girls in distress,” she said.
Adebule, however, appealed to all women to join hands with the government in the battle against dogmas inimical to healthy lifestyle, social malaise of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy.
Speaking on the topic: “Be the Voice against Child Abuse and Teenage Pregnancy, “Mrs Modupeola Adebambo of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, submitted that children who were sexually abused, tend to be sexually active thus exposing them to teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and alcoholic addiction, among others.
She appealed to parents not to abuse their children in whatever form, adding that parents should teach their children sex education to make them aware of the danger inherent in sexual abuse.
The programme was broken in two sessions, with the first session dedicated to general health screening, cancer screening and distribution of 500 free eye glasses while the second session was devoted to health talks and topics on issues of social vices.