Crimes against Nigerian women, highest in the world – Mrs Fayemi
By Sade Adewale
Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rates as well as crimes against women have been described as the highest in the world.
Ekiti State Governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi declared this during the 5th Distinguished Guest Lecture she delivered at the University of Medical Sciences, yesterday titled : “Clapping with one hand: Female Education, Leadership and the Guest For National Development, noting that the development was unacceptable.
She regretted that millions of Nigerians still suffer from poverty, lack of access to basic resources, diseases, violent conflict and the complex use of culture, religion and tradition to render women voiceless.
According to her, Nigeria and some other countries’ private and public spaces are increasingly becoming very unsafe for women and girls as a result of sexual exploitation, rape, kidnappings, voluntary and involuntary commercial sex work and trafficking.
The Ekiti State’s First Lady who decried these as serious threats to women’s political participation, noted that research and anecdotal evidence in the country and elsewhere have shown that violence or the perception is a major deterrent for women to engage effectively in politics.
Her words: “Parts of the country, especially the North East have been in upheaval for several years now. The atrocities committed by terrorist groups has had a devastating effect on millions of citizens, particularly women and children.
Education has been disrupted so badly that the effects will be felts for many years to come. The rampant kidnapping of children and young girls has had serious implications,. Nigeria currently has one of the highest rate of out of school children (10.5m) many of these females (60%).
This has dire implications for their future. An educated women will make better family decisions with regards to number of pregnancies, spacing, childcare, nutrition, health and so on”, she added.
Also speaking, Ondo State Governor, Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has said that a collective effort of Men and women in the State and Nigeria will make them to achieve development and goals.
The Governor who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Education, Dr (Mrs) Wumi Ilawole further said men should understand that they need a women as well in the society in order to move the nation forward.
He added that national growth should be jointly achievable by men and women so as to have better nation.
Akeredolu noted that Ondo State women are given more opportunity and recognition in the State and other activities in order to develop themselves and move the state forward.
The Governor advised women not to sit back but push themselves forward so as to be carried along in politics and other activities at all times.
Speaking earlier, the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences, (UNIMED), Prof Friday Okonofua said that the aim of the lecture was to provide a forum for high flying scientists, advocates, researchers, investors and innovators in public health and development to present their results to community stakeholders in an easily understandable format.
Okonofua further said people believe that part of the reasons that public health interventions have not found great traction and follower-ship in the country is the lack of knowledge of stakeholders about their rationale, and what they mean for health promotion and the sustenance of life and living.
According to him, a lot of the profound discoveries made in the health and development sectors have been left unattended to, which is one major reason why some of the most basic indices of social development have remained very daunting in this country.
The Vice-Chancellor, added that UNIMED is filling this gap by attracting the best thinkers in health and development to deliver topical lectures on a quarterly basis.
He noted that he had the opportunity to work with the First Lady of Ekiti State Her Excellency, Erelu Bisi Fayemi on issues relating to the promotion of the health and social well-being of women and girls in Ekiti State.