Wife of Ekiti State Governor and a renowned advocate of gender equality, Her Excellency, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has again frowned at series of reported forms of violence against women and female child in the society.
The First Lady, who was an invited keynote speaker at the 17th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti (FETHI) branch on Wednesday, described the theme of the programme “Gender-Based Violence: Say No To Violence, Act Right Now” as what placed preference and necessitated her presence.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Adekunle Ajayi, who played host to the number one woman in the state in his office, where he thanked the respected woman of virtue for coming and expressed the management’s utmost honour to having such a high profile personality within the facility, noted her presence to be the first of its kind since he assumed office eleven months ago.
“I want to specially welcome you to Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Your Excellency. Though we had issues that nearly consume our corporate identity in 2016, but in 2017, we managed to survive the storm and now we can tell you that this hospital has run an uninterrupted service for 11 months except the unfortunate JOHESU nationwide strike in April and May this year. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, we still have so many challenges as patients still come to our hospital without having money and we still have reasons to right off bills to the tune of N500,000 to N600,000 for indigent patients.
“Meanwhile, as part of our policies, we do not reject patients here. Once they come, we treat them and ensure good healthcare services are rendered to them under a conducive environment.
“Once again, you are welcome to our institution. You are known for excellence and in a way, excellence has visited us today, and we believe part of it will be given here,” the CMD opined.
In his own speech, the FETHI ARD President, Dr Adedayo Sanni, expressed gratitude to God, invited guests, management of the hospital and his professional colleagues for the support he has enjoyed so far and remarked that the Association which had contributed immensely to the development and progress of the hospital was established in 2001 and had since grown from strength to strength.
He extolled Erelu Bisi Fayemi, saying, “The Speaker of today’s occasion who fortunately the wife of the State Governor and the first woman in Ekiti State has been in the forefront of advocacy for gender violence free society, female protection and empowerment even before assuming this extolled office. Her experience and contributions which will be shared today will go a long way in enlightening and reshaping the lives and thoughts of many of us.”
The First Lady, who captured the attention of the gathering consisting of representatives of Mater Christi Catholic Girls High School, Igede-Ekiti, Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD Medical College and Landmark University, Omu-Aran in Kwara State, with stories of two different women, Mabel and Joke’s Mother, who were once victims of domestic violence until their death, urged female gender never to keep quiet in an attempt to support a culture of impunity and terror.
She identified three forms of violence against women as: Physical, Sexual and Psychological violence. She added that conventional statistics has informed that one out of three women has been a victim or will be a victim of either one or a combination of these factors in life.
She emphasized: “If you are committed to ending or at least minimising violence against women or girls, we should be prepared to engage in challenging and transforming all the institutions and processes which continue to undermine the progress of women and girls, regardless of their age, class and social standing. Our ultimate goal should be changing the story of abuse and violation and increase the number of choices that women have.
“Anytime we collude in culture of silence in the face of violence, we are saying YES to its prolificity. Widow abuse, female genital mutilation, child marriage, male preference over female and disinheritance of female child are no longer expected to be encouraged. And that’s why the roles of all our institutions are important.”
In his contribution, the Royal Father of the Day, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Justice) Ademola Ajakaiye JP, Oyinyosaiye Uyin II, Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, shared his personal experience that he enjoys the presence of female child than that of male in a home.
The representative of the Araoye family who sponsored the intercollege quiz competition between the two secondary schools, Hon. Makinde Araoye, appreciated the organisers for recognizing his late father, an Emeritus Professor Akinyemi Araoye, in the field of medicine. He promised to continue supporting the AGM and anything that has to do with medical practice, as he described the association as the one that has to be supported.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi later presented Award of Excellence and gifts to the secondary schools that came first and second in the quiz competition, Mater Christi, Igede and Christ School, Ado, respectively; after which an Award of Recognition was presented by the CMD to the First Lady.