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Female lawyers have higher risks of developing mental disorder, expert warns

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
26 October 2021   |   2:57 am
A mental health expert has warned that Female lawyers have greater risk of developing mental disorder than their male counterparts due to different responsibilities they are saddled with outside their career.


A mental health expert has warned that Female lawyers have greater risk of developing mental disorder than their male counterparts due to different responsibilities they are saddled with outside their career.

The expert also said that available statistics have shown that three out of 10 Nigerians suffer mental disorder, noting that, many of them can’t speak up because of the stigma attached to such condition.

Dr. Olasunkanmi Alabi, a mental health expert gave the warning at a lecture on the Mental and Reproductive health organised by the Federation of international Women Lawyer (FIDA), to mark their law week.

Dr. Alabi noted that apart from career demand, a female lawyer is also saddled with child bearing, doing household chores and also attending to her spiritual needs, among others.

She urged women lawyers to learn to take things easy, attend more to their mental health by taking notes of changes they notice and seek medical assistance before they develop mental disorder.

“We are looking at the mental and reproductive health as an economic tool of female lawyers. The message that we have passed across today is that, first and foremost, as female lawyers, we owe a duty to ourselves to take care of our mental and reproductive life.

“We highlighted the issue of mental disorder and the issues we should look out for, so that we don’t go overboard. We talked about family planning as economic tools for the nation. If we go at the rate we are going, we will be so overpopulated in a couple of years.

“We are taking away a message that as a couple, we have our right to sexual and reproductive life, but why we are doing that, we should not have babies that we can’t take care of. The issue of unwanted pregnancy is a sort of pain and poverty to the nation,” she said.

Explaining the choice of the Theme: Equity, Equality and Justice (Revisiting the Effect of Gender Parity on Sustainable Development in Ekiti State), the Chairperson FIDA, Ekiti State, Oluwatoyin Odunayo, said that there was a need for a legal and institutional framework to achieve and sustain gender parity.

“As lawyers, we are an agent of change in every community. What we are saying is the sustainable development goal as it affects women in Ekiti, especially in the area of gender advocacy and equality, which is not really peculiar to us as legal practitioners.”

“For instance, when we talk about female participation in politics, it is still very low. There is a need for improvement. We need a legal and institutional framework to achieve and sustain parity.

“There are lots of institutional frameworks put in place to enhance gender equality in Ekiti state but what this legal week is looking at is how it can be sustained beyond 2022.

“What aggravates our mind is how we can sustain the tempo set by the current administration in gender advocacy. That is why we are here to chart the way forward to own some of the institutional framework already put in place,” Odunayo said.