Women lawyers at higher risk of developing mental disorders, warns expert | The Guardian Nigeria News
A mental health expert has warned that female lawyers are at greater risk of developing mental disorders than their male counterparts because of the different responsibilities they have outside of their careers.
The expert also said that available statistics showed that three in 10 Nigerians suffer from mental disorders, noting that many of them cannot speak out due to the stigma attached to such a condition.
Mental health expert Dr Olasunkanmi Alabi gave the warning at a conference on mental and reproductive health organized by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFAD), on the occasion of their law week.
Dr Alabi noted that apart from career demand, a lawyer also struggles with childbearing, household chores and spiritual needs, among others.
She urged the lawyers to learn to take matters into their own hands, take more care of their mental health by taking notes of any changes they notice and see a doctor before they develop mental disorders.
“We see mental and reproductive health as an economic tool for women lawyers. Our message today is that, above all, as female lawyers, we have a duty to ourselves to take care of our mental and reproductive lives.
“We have highlighted the problem of mental disorders and the issues that we need to be careful about, so as not to overdo it. We talked about family planning as an economic tool for the nation. If we go at the rate we’re going, we’ll be so overcrowded in a few years.
“We take away the message that as a couple we have our right to sexual and reproductive life, but why we are doing this, we shouldn’t have babies that we can’t care for. The problem of unwanted pregnancies is a kind of pain and poverty for the nation, ”she said.
Explaining the choice of theme: Equity, Equality and Justice (Revisiting the Effect of Gender Parity on Sustainable Development in Ekiti State), IFAD President, Ekiti State, Oluwatoyin Odunayo, said that ‘There was a need for a legal and institutional framework to achieve and maintain gender parity.
“As lawyers, we are an agent of change in every community. What we are saying is the goal of sustainable development as it affects women in Ekiti, especially in the area of advocacy for gender equality and equality, which is not really particular to us in as jurists.
“For example, when we talk about the participation of women in politics, it is still very low. There is a need for improvement. We need a legal and institutional framework to achieve and maintain parity.
“There are many institutional frameworks in place to improve gender equality in Ekiti State, but this legal week examines how it can be sustained beyond 2022.
“What annoys our minds is how we can keep up with the pace set by the current administration when it comes to advocating for gender equality. This is why we are here to chart the way forward to appropriate part of the institutional framework already in place, ”said Odunayo.