By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The honourable commissioner for women affairs has charged the religious body in the state to be an advocate of family planning to all nursing mothers.
Ogun state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon Funmi Efuwape said this yesterday, while speaking with our correspondent on the efforts of its Ministry in encouraging the adoption of family planning.
Efuwape said Ogun state government is going to embark on a massive campaign to promote the adoption of family planning in order to curb unnecessary deaths, reduce crime rate and check unwanted pregnancy among women of childbearing age.
The government who also identify family planning as a sure measure to curb unnecessary deaths among young girls called on religious leaders to be advocates of family planning, stressing that, if embraced by every woman it would check overpopulation, maternal mortality rate, unwanted pregnancy and even crime rate in the society.
Efuwape advised women to give birth to the number of children that they can take care of, while also calling on young girls to adhere strictly to moral upbringing.
She also called on religious leaders to set up a family planning unit in their churches and mosques to enlighten and educate women on the importance of adopting family planning methods.
Efuape said, it is high time people, especially religious leaders jettisoned the erroneous belief that family planning is only meant for women that are promiscuous, saying “everyone must wake up to the reality that the economy is no longer thriving and there is no room for bearing children that you cannot take care of.”
In her view, family planning, if adopted by every woman would solve many problems such as maternal mortality, poverty, unwanted pregnancy, illiteracy, abortion and overpopulation, among others.
Her words, “Family planning is a project that I want to bring back on track because we have lost it along the line. Our people don’t have adequate knowledge of family planning methods, we are using the pills of family planning wrongly now.
“We want to strengthen our family planning units so that they can go back to doing what they are supposed to do; visit schools, make themselves accessible for children – our girl children to ask questions and even sometimes, train some of these women and the teachers.
“We will do the sensitisation, we will tell every entity, either religious, market or others what is expected of them on the issue of family planning. We are in the 21st century, we are growing out the erroneous belief that family planning is only meant for women that are promiscuous. We have to lecture and counsel women on family planning methods, do some tests to know the ones that suit individuals.
“I believe that religious entities should also have their own family planning units, because what is the purpose of a woman giving birth to eight children when she cannot even afford to take care of three? This does not make any sense,” the commissioner lamented.
Efuape disclosed that the state is partnering with the United Nations Population Funds and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in training and sensitizing women on the need to embrace family planning, adding that her Ministry would take family planning advocacy to every nook and cranny of the state.
The commissioner added that the state has put in place the Violence Against Persons law to fight domestic and other forms of abuse, declaring that nobody deserves to be abused for whatever reason.