By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The coalition of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), in Ekiti State have lauded the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi on her roles in promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls in the state, describing her as a role model for other First Ladies in the country.
The coalition stated this at a meeting of leaders of NGOs operating in the state. The meeting took place at the First Lady’s office in Ado-Ekiti on Monday chaired by the chairman of NGOs in Ekiti State, Sir Olu Ogunrotimi.
This was just as Erelu Fayemi called for concerted efforts, particularly on the part of the NGOs to combat practices that subjugate the female folks and particularly rob them of their rights to education.
She bemoaned the difficulty in implementing several laws protecting women and girls in Ekiti under the previous administration, noting that Governor Fayemi’s administration has been in the forefront of implementing such laws..
“We have several laws protecting women and the girl child in Ekiti but implementation of these laws have been extremely difficult. We will soon begin Ekiti Female Gender Summit to task government parastatals such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Health, Budget and Planning, and Agriculture amongst others, on what they have on the table for women and girls’ welfare and care,” she stated.
Erelu Fayemi said the JKF administration will work on ensuring that internal mechanisms to work on different programmes for women and girls from the different MDAs are made available.
Mrs. Fayemi lso expressed her sadness on the alarming rate of out-of-school children, especially girls in the country.
” The number of girls dropping out of school in Nigeria is becoming alarming, we have 15 million of the kids out of school now and out of them, 70 percent are girls.”
“Looking at it from the perspective of national development, If this trend continues, it means that in 10 – 20 years time we will have reduced number of doctors, engineers, and other professionals that should have been produced and for every girl child that drops out of school, they are going to be part of what I called a cycle of generational poverty in our society because it will affect them, their children and Children’s children who would also roam the streets.”
She hinted on a new policy aimed at keeping girls in school.
According to her,“By September we will begin a policy advocacy which is termed “Keep Girls in School” and it will be based on these policies and laws we have discussed, advocating with educational institutions, parents and organisations. We do not want to have girls roaming the streets. We will support this with assistance for indigent kids to have vocational trainings and skills acquisition.
Appreciating Erelu Fayemi on behalf of her team, Mrs. Abimbola Aladejare of the Girl Generation End FGM Ambassador, Nigeria advocated for an adolescent centre which will further cater for the needs of women and girl child and assist in further preventing issues of early pregnancy, rape and other forms of oppression against the female.
“We have a policy which has been initiated by the Ekiti state University, it is called the Gender and Sexual Advancement Policy. It is being proposed to be domesticated in all Tertiary institutions in the state and already we are working on that. We will have to buckle up for the challenges of gender issues ahead as a lot will be coming our way” she said.