Women with Disabilities in Ekiti state on Friday, 6th December, 2019 unanimously made commitment to ALWAYS SPEAK UP in the event of domestic violence against them. This commitment was made at a sensitization programme organized by Disability Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI) with support from The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ekiti Province 7, Ekiti State in commemoration of this year’s 16Days of Activism.
At the event tagged “Curbing Violence Against Women with Disabilities: Roles of the Church”, Olajide Funso, the Executive Director of DINABI said the programme was organized with the aim of enlightening Women with Disabilities on the newly signed Ekiti State Gender Based Violence (Prohibition) Law 2019 and its contents. He said it was also aimed at knowing what violence is, types of violence and what to do in the event of violence against women. It was also aimed at explaining the roles of our religious institutions in curbing violence against women and how to prevent causes of violence against women with disabilities.
The Resident Pastor of the Headquater of the church who represented the Provincial Pastor of RCCG, Ekiti Province 7, Pastor Gabriel Adarabioyo spoke of the passion the church have for persons with disabilities. He said earlier in the year, he had a prayer session with persons with disabilities in Ekiti state where about 300 persons with disabilities were present. Pastor Adarabioyo urged government and everyone in the society to always support persons with disabilities in the society and never to look down on them. He said the founder of DINABI is a good example of “ability in disability”. He promised that the church, RCCG, EKITI PROVINCE 7 will always support inclusive and participatory activities in order to give persons with disabilities a sense of belonging.
In her presentation, one of the guest speakers at the event, Barrister Rita Ilevbare said Ekiti State GBV Law 2019 is not only meant for women alone but also for men. She said the penalty for rape in Ekiti State now is life imprisonment. The Executive Director of Gender Relevance Initiative Promotion (GRIP) urged women not to die in silence in the event of domestic violence and emphasize the need to always speak up and seek for legal, religious and professional counselling. She praised the Ekiti State Government for enacting such progressive Law in Ekiti and urged the government to domesticate the National Disability Act in order to further support Women with Disabilities in Ekiti state.
The wife of the Pastor in Charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ekiti Province 7, Pastor(Mrs) Adarabioyo who was also a guest speaker at the event spoke extensively on the Roles of the Church in Curbing Violence Against Women. The woman of God said God is against all forms of violence whatsoever in the family. She said the intension of God for the family is to live together in love, peace and harmony, stating that devil is the author of confusion. She urged women to always put God first in their family. She admonished them to always take good care of themselves, prepare food for their husbands as at when due and train up their children in the way of the Lord. She said RCCG as an institution always accord women with opportunities as men most especially in attaining any level of pastoral duties in the church.
NISD’s Program Officer, Olamide Martins who represented the Ekiti Women Policy Agenda at the event said they will continue to work with DINABI and various women groups to ensure Quality and affordable healthcare, poverty alleviation, reduction in gender based violence, affordable and portable water supply, accessible rural roads and 35% political space for women including Women with Disabilities.
Various dignitaries including Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs represented by Gender Desk Officer, Mr Aladegbola; Executive Secretary of Ekiti State Office for Disability Affairs represented by Deputy Directors in the Ministry, Mr Toye Ojo and Mr Agbeyemi; Chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Ekiti State Chapter, Mr Omotola Omotunla; a retired Director in the Ministry of Education who is also a blind, Mr Peter Adesina; the Secretary to the Board of Trustee of DINABI, Mr Oni Ayodimeji all spoke against gender based violence.
The event was well attended by leaders of the four cluster groups of persons with disabilities in Ekiti state (Hearing impaired, physically challenged, persons with albinism and visually impaired).