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Mrs Obaseki threatens to prosecute govt officials for marginalizing women

Betsy Obaseki

Wife of Edo Governor, Besty Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke

The wife of Edo State Governor Betsy Obaseki has threatened to personally charge and prosecute political leaders and government officials who marginalize women in appointments, especially at the local government level, for gender-based violence.

She stated this Wednesday evening at the Edo Women Summit, the first of the five-day activities marking the 2023 Alaghodaro Summit.

The event which was held at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, attracted women from the 18 local government areas of the State.

The Edo First Lady who acknowledged progress made in empowering women in various fields across the State, made it clear that the fight for gender equality had only just begun and that it was essential to secure positions for women in the highest echelons of power.

She noted that women had faced significant obstacles in their quest for political representation, as some men continued to resist and hinder their progress.

She drew attention to the treatment of female vice-chairpersons at the local government councils, describing their exclusion from important meetings and decision-making processes as unacceptable.

Mrs Obaseki warned that another battle for gender equality was on the horizon and pledged to hold accountable those responsible for marginalizing women.

She vowed to use the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law to challenge gender-based discrimination within the political sphere, stressing that female officeholders deserve respect, equal opportunities to perform their duties, and fair compensation for their contributions to the state’s development as is being practised in the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki at the State level.

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Also speaking at the event, the State Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Ovia we, lauded the Governor’s initiatives, highlighting the promotion of teachers, with many now serving as permanent secretaries, and improved conditions for primary school teachers.

On her part, the Special Adviser on Strategy, Sara Esangbedo-Ajose celebrated the increased representation of women in the State cabinet, noting the positive impact of Governor Obaseki’s governance.

Representatives from the three Senatorial districts who also spoke earlier acknowledged the First Lady’s instrumental role in securing positions for women in the face of marginalization.

Lady Uwa Osunbor who spoke on behalf of Edo South Senatorial District, expressed gratitude for Obaseki’s advocacy, emphasizing the unity and support of Edo women.

Also, Mrs. Ihennyen praised the First Lady’s guidance and initiatives, crediting her with bringing women together and fostering a sense of belonging.

Similarly, Benedicta Attoh from Etsako North East highlighted Obaseki’s significant contributions to various sectors, crediting her with her emergence as Chairperson to the Local Government.

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