The Ondo State Government uesterday announced the extension of maternity leave from three to six months as part of efforts to ensure total child development.
The state Head of Service, Mr. Kayode Ogundele, stated this while receiving members of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ondo State chapter, in his office in Akure.
Ogundele said the move was to build a society where children raised have all that was required in terms of maternal care.
The HoS said the decision was to enable mothers to give their newborn babies adequate attention during the leave period, stressing that medical experts affirm that breast feeding should be exclusive in the first six months.
According to him, “Such mothers would be more focused and productive when they resume work as all the initial child-raising challenges would have been addressed sufficiently during the leave period.
According to him, “This is in addition to the full-fledged Ministry of Women Affairs to address women and children related issues. FIDA, you have been doing a great job. We have been seeing your roles in terms of activism, advocacy and other things you have been doing to help the vulnerable in the society. It is a good job and we pray God will strengthen you to keep it up.”
Ogundele said the current government’s efforts were aimed at a providing a better society for women and had also recently established the agency for the Protection Against Gender Violence.
Earlier, the state Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs. Catherine Ogunjebi, advocated for the elimination of some encumbrances in the administration of maternity leave irrespective of marital status.
Ogunjebi also used the occasion to appeal for the elevation of female lawyers in the service of the state to the position of permanent secretaries.