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Ekiti plans tough against perpetrators of gender-based violence

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• Fayemi says no mercy for rapists, abusers, molesters
• Ekiti, Ondo, Osun first ladies demand strong legal framework for women’s rights

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said that his administration had put up an enabling legal framework that would criminalise any issue bordering on gender inequality in the state.

He said that there would be no mercy for whoever rapes, abuses or molests any woman in Ekiti, saying that the laws are there to take care of them.Fayemi said the era when women were being maltreated and their voices subjugated was over, adding that all the laws geared towards protecting their rights are now being implemented by the government.

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The governor, who spoke yesterday while declaring open the fourth Ekiti Gender Summit, held in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, said: “My administration has been recognised as a state that has the highest number of women political office holders in the country. Our government is serious and thorough about the implementation and no mercy for whoever rapes, abuses, or molests any woman in Ekiti State. The laws are there to take care of them.

“I assure the people that my administration will continue to implement gender balancing and equality in the policy of the government. All the laws put in place to achieve this will be thoroughly implemented.”

In her remark, the First Lady of the state, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, said the programme, which was the fourth edition in the series, was an initiative of her husband during his first term in office.

She said this year programme was coming at a time that coincides with the anniversary of the famous United Nations (UN) Beijing conference for women. She, however, reiterated the readiness of the government to the implementation of the gender-based violence prohibition law, equal opportunities law, child right law and other safety policies that protect the rights of the womenfolk.

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In the same vein, the First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, said sustainable development could not be achieved where the voices of women are being subjugated and their rights being eroded or trampled upon.

“Mortality rate is still high among women despite concerted efforts. We must empower women and enact laws that can protect their lives. This summit will help us to evaluate the progress so far and how to plan for the future.”

Also, wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, said that strong legal framework is required to protect the women against molestation and discrimination based on gender.

“Many women still are still being trapped in violent relationships, sexual harassment, rape, genital mutilation, wicked cultural practices and torture. Women empowerment is a task we must achieve to build our nation.”

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