By Kemi Olatunde
In its bid to ensure total child development, the Ondo State Government has extended the maternity leave period for its female workers from three months to six months.
The State Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele disclosed this while receiving members of the Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Ondo State Chapter, in his office in Akure, the state capital.
Pastor Ogundele said the move was to build a society where children enjoy the required maternal care which, according to medical experts should be exclusive in the first six months.
He explained that it will afford mothers the opportunity to be more focused and productive when they resume work stating that all the initial child-raising challenges would have been addressed sufficiently during the leave period.
According to him, other efforts of the Akeredolu-led government geared towards a better society for women include the recent setting up of the Agency for the Protection Against Gender Violence, in addition to the full-fledged Ministry of Women Affairs to address women and children related issues.
He lauded the complementary roles of FIDA to ameliorate the plights of women and children in the society.
‘FIDA, you have been doing a great job. We have been seeing your roles in terms of activism, in terms of advocacy and a lot of things you ‘ve been doing to help the vulnerable in the society. It’s a good job and we pray God would strengthen you to keep it up.’ Ogundele said.
He pledged his office’s continued strides to ensure female lawyers and other categories of officers get whatever is due to them in the service of Ondo State.
Earlier in her remarks, the State Chairperson of FIDA, Catherine Ogunjebi advocated for the abolition of some seeming encumbrances in the administration of maternity leave for female civil servants irrespective of their marital status.
Ogunjebi also used the occasion to clamour for the elevation of female lawyers in the service of the state to the position of Permanent Secretaries.