The wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has assured the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ekiti State Chapter of government’s support in ensuring that all forms gender-based violence and trafficking in the state become things of the past.
This was just as the State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, decried the alarming rate of trafficking in persons and kids in the state, calling for stringent measures to combat the menace.
Both the First Lady and Fapohunda made the remarks during the 2019 FIDA annual Law Week, themed: “Human Trafficking: A menace to socio-Economic Development of the society,” which held at the state High court in Ado Ekiti.
Fapounda in his address said: “Despite the plethora of rights provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended and those guaranteed by the very many regional and international human rights treaties, modern day slavery still persists in our country.”
Erelu Fayemi while addressing the gathering revealed that reports by international agencies had scored Nigeria very low in terms of policies and practices geared towards empowering and protecting the women and providing a conducive environment for women and girls.
She said: “Governance is not about individuals it is about people and how their lives can be made better.
“Bodies such as FIDA are important for capacity building and learning as to assist one another in the profession.”
She emphasized the importance of advocacy and influencing of policies, pointing out that Nigeria is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world where women could be when it comes to women empowerment and gender equality.
She said: “One in three of Nigerian women are victims of gender violence and we have less than five per cent of Nigerian women in the legislature.
“However, in Ekiti State we can boast of a very robust legal framework for women empowerment, with laws that prohibit harmful widowhood practices, frown against female genital mutilation, gender-based violence prohibition law, and the equal opportunity law.”
Erelu Fayemi therefore proposed a synergy among all agencies combating trafficking, adding: “Synergy of multi-sexual and inter-agency services.
“Bodies working in this respect must form a synergy and not duplicate effort and resources.
“We should also engage the community.
“They should own this issue of trafficking and be sensitised to report these local traffickers.”
The First Lady enjoined the stakeholders present on the importance of continuous close working relationship with the traditional rulers.
She said: “We need them as partners in progress on this journey just as we need opinion leaders and respected people in the society.”
Erelu Fayemi praised FIDA Ekiti for the work done so far on cases such as defilement of kids, battery of women, trafficking of women and girls amongst other GBV cases.
She said: “You are guaranteed strong political will to ensure that trafficking and gender-based violence of all forms are mitigated in Ekiti.
“Whenever you need government to support you within the available resources, we will support you.
“We will see how we can get FIDA, Ekiti, a subvention from government.”