The Ekiti Government and the World Bank Group on Friday forged an alliance aimed at working together to tackle gender-based violence, rape and female genital mutilation in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that this was part of the outcome of an interface between the World Bank team and the state government’s top officials led by the governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in Ado-Ekiti.
Team Lead and Social Development Manager (Africa) of the World Bank, Senait Assefa, said there was a need for government and development partners to consider how to tackle ‘critical emerging issues’ especially gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, and rape.
Assefia said the Bank’s decision to kick off the partnership with Ekiti State was not unconnected to the leading roles being played by the governor in curbing the social ills.
The governor had during the interface said his government had put in place several laws to tackle the menace but sustaining the implementation of the laws had been a major challenge.
Fayemi identified the weak justice system as one of the factors promoting impunity, adding that this informed the decision of the state government to introduce psychiatry test and open register of sex offenders among other methods to discourage rapists.
While speaking on female genital mutilation, the governor said genital cutting is a cultural practice which required the support of traditional institutions for the existing laws to be able to curb the menace.
He also stressed the need to strengthen the gender mainstream issues, adding that the government was taking different steps to ensure that all forms of gender violence were curbed.
NAN reports that the World Bank official while responding to the points highlighted by Fayemi on curbing the menace, called for partnership among all stakeholders so that they could take ownership of all steps taken to tackle gender violence, rape, and mutilation.
Assefia, who expressed satisfaction with the interface, said the World Bank would soon come up with a report that would enable it determines how it could assist Ekiti in tackling the ills.
” We must bring all the key players together to have a sustainable and effective implementation.
” Communities must take ownership of whatever we do so that they don’t see it as a World Bank thing.
” It is important for the state government to take the leading step in this regards,” Assefia said.
The meeting with the World Bank officials was attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Dr. Folake Olomojobi 0among others.