By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Bolanle Ambode, Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, as well as stakeholders in the state have tasked women to give priority attention to their health and stand against all forms of domestic violence, social vices, such as child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy.
Mrs. Ambode, who led other dignitaries and residents, gave the charge, yesterday, at the “Lagos Women’s Forum,” in Police College, Ikeja, organized to address issues of women’s health and recurring social vices in the society.
She stressed that good health was a prerequisite for every other thing, including good attention to children and family, business and even political activities, noting that without good health, nothing meaningful could be achieved.
“Health is wealth’ they say, because good health is the gate way to everything. To have good health, we need to take care of our body, mind and soul.
“It is when we have good health that we can run around for business, take care of our homes, our children or engage in political activities. When we have sound health, we can better attend to all issues and concerns,” Ambode stated.
The governor’s wife, who condemned the high rate of prevalence of social nuisance in the society, urged women to boldly speak out their discontent against domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy.
She described the attitude as barbaric and unacceptable in civilized climes, charging women to seek to know their rights under the law, to shun silence and be vocal voices for their own cause.
“Importantly too, we would be examining the rights of women under the law, in the face of persistent social problems. When we know our rights, we can speak better and act better, to protect ourselves if and when those circumstances arise,” she said.
Also, speaking at the event, Adebule said the forum provided a platform where women could engage in sustainable discourse to increase their knowledge and enhance their awareness on health and well-being as participants.
Adebule said it was unfortunate that 23 years after countries signed pledges in 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, women still face many health-cum-social problems, saying that there was need for recommitment to address them.
She urged Lagos women to embrace sustainable advocacy and take conscious action on matters concerning their health and how they were treated by the society at large.
Adebule, however, appealed to all women to join hands with the government in winning the battle against dogmas inimical to healthy lifestyle and social malaise of domestic violence, child abuse, rape and teenage pregnancy.
Speaking on the topic: “Be the Voice against Child Abuse and Teenage Pregnancy, “Mrs Modupeola Adebambo of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, said children who sexually were abused tended to be sexually active and exposed to teenage pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, alcoholic addiction, among others.
She appealed to parents not to abuse their children in whatever form, adding that parents should teach their children sexual education to make them aware of the danger inherent in sexual abuse.
Director, Office of Public Defender, OPD, Olayinka Adeyemi, who spoke on domestic violence and rape, urged women to speak out against domestic violence and report such cases to the OPD for legal action.