Wife of Ekiti State Governor


With at least 13 million children out of school in Nigeria presently and rising, with 60 percent of this number being girls, even when they are able to receive an education, there is still a huge challenge keeping young girls in school due to some factors

These factors include poverty, sexual and gender based violence, kidnappings, teenage pregnancy, family responsibilities and forced marriages and so on, make it difficult for young girls to focus on their education. Harmful traditional practices such as early marriages, female genital mutilation, girls trafficking, farming out children to family members to foster and so on, all contribute to creating a toxic environment for girls to grow up and be educated in.

In light of all these, the first lady of Ekiti state, Erelu Bisi Fayemi is focused on addressing these issues with her Keep Girls In School Campaign. According to her, one of the factors that keep young girls away from school is ‘period poverty’ or lack of capacity for menstrual hygiene management.

Lack of appropriate facilities such as gender segregated toilet facilities, adequate safe water supply in schools for washing hands and maintaining good hygiene, absence of sanitary menstrual materials and so on can and does prevent girls from safe hygienic management of their periods.

These may result in absenteeism, reduced levels of concentration in class and low participation in school activities like sports and other extra-curricular activities. The campaign therefore launched a Pad Bank on Menstrual Hygiene Day to enable vulnerable girls in the state have access to reusable sanitary protection, a sustainable way of menstrual hygiene management.

According to the first lady, the bank’s objectives include having a steady supply of menstrual hygiene products, helping young girls who are unable to afford sanitary materials and ensure that young girls don’t stay away from school because of their monthly cycle.

Others include, promoting good menstrual hygiene amongst young girls, providing training in the use of menstrual hygiene products and providing opportunities for young local entrepreneurs to learn how to produce reusable and safe sanitary products.

She added that a box of six reusable pads that can last for a year costs N2, 500 and their target is 3000 girls yearly in the state. Calling for support to enable them reach and surpass this goal, she said donations in cash or kind would enable them keep a steady supply of these reusable pads for regular distribution to young girls that need them the most.

In celebration of her 57th Birthday, The First lady of Ekiti State; Erelu Bisi-Adeleye Fayemi donates N1m to Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children, through her Above Whispers “A Wrapper for Women  Initiative.

The aim of the donation is to support Women in dire need during this uncertain time in the World, and alleviate their pain.

The Wrapper Network which started In October 2019 was inspired by a question she asked  during her speech at a Women’s conference.

According to Her Excellency;

Those wrappers symbolize solidarity, unity, love, protection, care and so on. If we want to be blessed as women in any way, Where is your wrapper? Where is your wrapper for the poor widow who is struggling to pay the fees of her children? Where is your wrapper for your wealthy but very sad friend who is experiencing domestic violence? Where was your wrapper when a woman told you she had been raped but you asked her what she was wearing?

In addition, a lot of women need help with modest contributions that could make all the difference. That is why I decided to start The Wrapper Network, for women who need a wrapper and for women who are prepared to give wrappers to other sisters. I am flagging it off with an initiative for some women entrepreneurs to mark my birthday on June 11thThe Wrapper Network will be able to support up to 40 women with between N50,000-N200,000 for various businesses. I hope that the sisters who will benefit can go on to bless other sisters with a wrapper when things are good for them”.

We will be disbursing the funds in the next couple of days among 100 women; from the most vulnerable to the downtrodden, we will make sure these Women get a “Wrapper”  of hope from this donation,and the names of the beneficiaries will be published for accountability.

We appreciate Erelu Bisi Fayemi for her kind gesture and we will make sure the funds gets to those who truly need it.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful Mentor, Encourager, Women lifter, Wrapper Giver, A woman above Whispers, an enigma of hope and purpose. We celebrate you today and always.

Esther Ijewere

Founder, Rubies Ink Initiative for Women and Children & Editor-In-Chief; Women of Rubies