Oyo State government, on Thursday, said efforts were ongoing to ensure that maternity leave for pregnant and nursing mothers was extended from four to six months for nursing mothers in the employment of the state.
Men would also soon begin to enjoy paternity leave.
The State Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Sanni, stated these at a two-day workshop on ‘Safe Motherhood’, organised by Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Oyo state chapter, held at Dapo Aderogba Hall, NUJ Press Center, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
Sanni said the extension was necessary so that adequate care would be given to the newborn while the mothers also would have the privilege to take care of themselves.
She said the present administration under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde supported every key aspect of motherhood in order to promote wellbeing of women and children in the state.
She emphasised that the administration had been promoting, educating, empowering, protecting children and women from all forms of abuse, while also supporting them financially, especially for those in need of financial help.
“Safe motherhood is a serious thing that every government must put in the front burner of discussions, it will bring about a happy home and promote a progressive society,” she asserted.
Also in her remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs And Community Development, Wumi Oladeji, while speaking on the State House of Assembly’s contribution to Safe Motherhood, said the Assembly had been gender-friendly and had enacted laws to take adequate care of the interest of women and children, adding that, Oyo State House of Assembly was the first to domesticate the Child Rights Law (2006) in the country.
Other gender friendly laws enacted by the House as mentioned by the lawmaker were Violence Against Women (2016), Oyo State Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternity Services Law, (2019), Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition) Law, (2016).
Oladeji said the House also had some Bills under processing that were 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).
While declaring the workshop open, the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun said, Oyo State government had been doing its best to reduce the suffering of women through every means possible, which he said had brought succour to their lives.
He said with free education policy, most women had been able to send their children to school as majority of them used to bear the burden of taking care of the home front.
He advised women to be prayerful, support their husbands and raise their children well while striving to be at the top of their career.