The practice of expelling students who got impregnated while in school has been abolished in Ekiti State.
This was emphasised by the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Bisi Fayemi, on Tuesday while on an advocacy and women empowerment tour in the state.
She said the “Operation Keep Girls In School” policy of the government had ensured that such female students with pregnancies were not denied the opportunities of education.
“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, with the new law, 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.”
She lamented the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies in the state, blaming same on the lack of proper attention.
Mrs Fayemi urged parents and guardians to always monitor the activities of their female children and wards to reduce the cases of rape and defilement.
On the endemic practice of female genital mutilation, Mrs Fayemi warned that those “still in the trade would be arrested if they failed to close shop”.
According to the governor’s wife, the unwholesome practice has brought a lot of sexual damage to women through infectious diseases “that destroy body sexual nerve cells, thereby causing marital crises in many homes”.
Mrs Fayemi also noted that some local practitioners of FGM had surrendered their instruments after receiving a promise from the government that they would be supported.
“We must at all costs stop the menace of female genital mutilation, open defecation, domestic violence against women, child trafficking and rape, defilement and other ills against the girl child and women,” she said.
“The state Gender Based Violence (GVB) and child right 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.”
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,” she counseled.
“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.
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“It had happened like this in the past when men turned out to be our Messiahs.”