Nigeria: Oyo Plans Extension of Maternal Leave

(file photo).
21 August 2020

Ibadan — The Oyo State Government has announced that a bill for the extension of maternity leave for pregnant and nursing mothers from four to six months and paternity leave for men would soon see the light of the day.

The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs. Faosat Sanni, made the disclosure yesterday in Ibadan at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on "Safe Motherhood", which was organised by the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State Chapter.

The event, which held at Dapo Aderogba Hall, NUJ Press Center, Iyaganku, Ibadan, attracted members of the association from the Southwest's states of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti.

Sanni said the extension of the maternity leave would provide adequate care to the newborn while the mothers also would have the privilege to take care of themselves.

She added that the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, has been supporting every key aspect of motherhood as a way of promoting the well being of women and children in the state.

According to her, the admini-stration has been promoting, educating, empowering and protecting children and women from all forms of abuse through financial support for those in need of it.

The Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Community Development, Hon. Olawumi Oladeji, said the House of Assembly has been gender-friendly and has enacted laws to take adequate care of the interest of women and children, stating that the house was the first to domesticate the Child Rights Law (2006) in the country.

Other gender friendly laws enacted by the state assembly, as mentioned by the lawmaker, are Violence Against Women (2016), Oyo State Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternity Services Law, (2019), Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition) Law, (2016) among others.

Oladeji added that the assembly has some bills that are meant to protect the interest of women, such as Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2019; Child Sexual Offences Bill, (2019); and Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team and Referral Centre Bill, (2020).

The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the state government has been doing its best to reduce the suffering of women through every means that would bring succor to their lives.

Olatunbosun said that the state's free education policy has enabled women to send their children to school and urged women to be prayerful, support their husbands and raise their children well while striving to be at the top of their career.

The NAWOJ National President, Ms. Ifeanyiwa Omowole, said that the essence of the workshop is to train leaders of the association from the South West zone and enable them to train their members in their various states on issues surrounding safe motherhood.

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