In collaboration with the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative and Women Aid Collective Organisation (WACOL), the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) organized a workshop on policy formulation against all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Women in Lagos State.
Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, Commissioner for WAPA, stated at the event held on Wednesday at the Residency Hotel, Ajao Estate with the theme: “A Day Policy Orientation Training Workshop for Key Government Officials on Implementation of Laws/Policies and Advancing Human Rights Standards for Women Human Rights Agenda,” that there was a need for reassessment of existing laws to enhance proficiency in curbing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Lagos.
“There are existing laws on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. However, we need to assess them and decide against irregularities which affect women’s plights in Lagos State, because women’s rights are constantly being infringed upon due to our patriarchal culture.
“Holistically assessing the existing laws will go a long way in curbing SGBV with consideration in domesticating the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) act in Lagos State.”
While encouraging collaboration among all stakeholders to reduce the soaring index of SGBV, Dada informed participants of the need for policy formulation to expedite the enactment of the VAPP Law in Lagos State, with a view to curbing anomalies associated with the metropolis’ high rate of SGBV.
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Barrister Dorothy Oleka, the event’s coordinator and a representative of the Women Aid Collective Organisation (WACOL), stated that it is critical to prevent all forms of poverty and SGBV.
“We need to break all barriers even right from the cradle. Our Girl-Child must be taught a sense of self-worth, even as it is most pertinent to empower her as she gets older in order to reduce her susceptibility towards SGBV”.
Mrs. Idoko Uche, CEO of the Centre for Gender Economics in Africa, urged women to speak out about first-time abuse so that violators face the consequences of their actions because silence is the most powerful catalyst that fosters violence.
Uche emphasized that SGBV emerged as a global trend as a result of women’s failure to assert their rights, which are also hampered by social and institutional factors that should be eliminated or altered.