Akeredolu-led Govt Committed to Ending Gender-Based Violence – Ondo First Lady 

Akeredolu-led Govt Committed to Ending Gender-Based Violence – Ondo First Lady

•Urges Fiwasaye Girls To be Advocates for Eradication of FGM.

The wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has expressed the government’s commitment to putting a stop to gender-based violence in the state.

The First Lady said this on Monday when members of Ondo State Agency Against Gender-Based Violence (OSAA GBV) visited Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure, Ondo State Capital, to sensitise the students (who are future parents) on the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM).

Mrs Akeredolu, the Chairperson of OSAA GBV, was represented by the Executive Secretary, Barr. Bola Joel Ogundadegbe said, “The present administration is committed to ending gender-based violence in the state, which was why State Govt signed into law Violence Against persons prohibition Bill.”

While speaking of the implications of FGM and the positions of the law concerning it, she added, “The law forbids FGM, and anyone caught perpetrating the act will face a conviction of 4 years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000.00.”

The agency kicked off a campaign against FGM yesterday with a live television programme on OSRC, paid awareness visit to secondary schools as part of its activities listed for the commemoration of this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, and also part of the agency’s activities towards ending all forms of gender-based violence in the state.

In her remarks, Aderemi Olubukola, a Nurse and staff of OSAA GBV, explained that FGM is a harmful practice against girls while lamenting that the practice, even though it has no health benefit whatsoever, has for long been sustained by cultural beliefs. She noted that females exposed to circumcision stand the risk of getting infected with HIV- Aids through the use of unsterilised equipment. She also added that females exposed to FGM might also experience prolonged labour marriage break-up, among others disadvantages.

Also speaking during the outreach, a member of the board and a teacher at the school, Mrs Toyin Adegbenro, faulted the false beliefs about FGM, urging the students to unlearn the erroneous belief system so that they are also not caught in the web as mothers.

While concluding the awareness talk, the Special Adviser to Mr Governor on Gender, Hon. Olamide Falana, engaged the girls in a question and answer session and urged them to become advocates by speaking up against FGM whenever they come in contact with people practising the evil act.

Mrs Falana said, as community ambassadors, the girls should take the message home as part of efforts to end FGM in the state.

Expressing her gratitude to the First Lady of Ondo State and members of the agency for organising the sensitisation programme, the school Principal, Mrs Omobola Temitope Ojoge, urged the students to go back home with the message, as she expressed hope that through advocacy, female genital mutilation can be eradicated in the state.

Other members of the Agency on the trip include the Senior Special Assistant on Gender Research and Documentation, Mrs Temitope Daniyan, CPS, Oluwatobi Fademi, NCWS, Mrs Aborode, Mrs Agbede, PS Women Affairs, Mrs Foluke Daramola, PS Education, Mrs Lola Amuda, Miss Okwu Chika, Mr Ojo Olubunmi of Agency For people in living with Disability and Rep of the Comm. of Police, Mrs Fasimoye Nikola Rita amongst others.

Story credit: Oluwatobi Fademi
SSA, Media, WoG

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