Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said his administration has put up enabling legal framework to criminalise any issue bordering on gender inequality in the state.
Fayemi reinstated the commitment of his administration to gender equality and promotion of the rights of children and womenfolk in the state.
The governor added that the era when women were being maltreated and their voices being subjugated was over, saying all the laws geared towards protecting their rights are now being implemented by the government.
Fayemi stated this in Ado-Ekiti while declaring open the 4th Ekiti Gender Summit.
“My administration has been recognised as a state that has the highest number of women political office holders in the country. Our government is serious and thorough about the implementation and no mercy for whoever rapes, abuses, or molests any woman in Ekiti State. The laws are there to take care of them.
“I assure the people that my administration will continue to implement gender balancing and equality in the policy of the government. All the laws put in place to achieve this will be thoroughly implemented,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the summit titled: “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Post Beijing: Political will and Impact,” the governor applauded stakeholders that contributed to the success of the summit.
In her remarks, First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, said the programme, which is the fourth edition in the series, was an initiative of her husband during his first term in office.
She said this year’s programme coincided with anniversary of the famous United Nations Beijing conference for women.
She, however, reiterated the readiness of her husband to ensure the implementation of the gender based violence prohibition law, equal opportunities law, child right law and other safety policies that protect the rights of the womenfolk.
Similarly, First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could not be achieved where the voices of women are being subjugated and their rights being eroded or trampled upon.
“Mortality rate is still high among women despite concerted efforts. We must empower women and enact laws that can protect their lives.This summit will help us to evaluate the progress so far and how to plan for the future,” she said.
Also speaking, First Lady of Osun State, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, said strong legal framework is required to protect women against molestations and discrimination.
“Many women are still trapped in violent relationships, sexual harassment, rape, genital mutilation, wicked cultural practices and torture. Women empowerment is a very important aspect of development that we must achieve to build our nation,” she added.
Delivering her lecture on the summit’s theme, Prof. Olabisi Aina, said every gender must be given the right to education to serve as a leveler between the rich and the poor.
“The gender equality war is not against men, but life must be made better for women. Every one is born equal. Issue of poverty affects women adversely. It is a known fact that SDGs can’t be achieved without addressing the issue of gender imbalancing,” she said.