The wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has said the state government won’t hesitate to arrest those she described as “unrepentant” female genital mutilators (FGM) operating in the state.
Fayemi said the unwholesome practice has caused a lot of sexual damage to women through infectious diseases, causing marital crises in many homes.
The Ekiti First Lady advised parents and guardians to monitor the activities of their female children and wards and to work to reduce the scourge of rape and defilement that are on the increase across the Southwestern state.
Fayemi decried the rise in teen pregnancies, noting however that the ‘Operation Keep Girls in School’ policy of the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration has outlawed the expulsion of girls who get pregnant while in primary/secondary school.
The First Lady said this on Tuesday during her advocacy tour and empowerment programme for women in Ekiti West, Efon, Ijero and and Ido-Osi local government areas of the state.
Also at the empowerment programme for women from Ikere, Ise/Orun and Emure councils held in Ikere Ekiti, Fayemi said the local practitioners of FGM had surrendered their instruments with a promise that they will be empowered by government, saying whoever reneges on the promise will face the penalty.
Items distributed include cash, grinding machines, sowing machines, hair dryers, cooking gas, coolers and raw food.
Mrs Fayemi said: “We must at all costs stop the menaces of female genital mutilation, open defecation, domestic violence against women, child trafficking and rape, defilement and other ills against girls and women,” she said.
“The state Gender Based Violence (GVB) and child rights laws have been amended. Punishment for rape is no longer a 5-year jail term but life imprisonment. Whoever makes attempt to beg for the release of a rapist stands being charged for obstruction of justice.
“It is not right for teenagers to engage in sexual relationships. That is why parents must monitor their female children in school. But any school girl that got impregnated will be allowed to continue her study even with the pregnancy and after delivery she will still be allowed to continue schooling. Our girls must go to school.”
Mrs Fayemi also warned women against maltreating or battering their husbands, saying the GVB law would also punish any woman found infringing on the rights of men.
“Women should also desist from delivering babies at home or missions, always go to hospitals. You can observe that women are dying of breast cancer. Let us observe ourselves very well, even our husbands have a lot of roles to play in this, they can help us massage the breast and detect the lumps. It had happened like this in the past when men turned out to be our messiahs,” Mrs Fayemi stated.