Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Lola Akande has disclosed that the Government is committed to economically empower women in order to stem the tide of domestic violence in the State.
According to her, “One of the ways to stem the tide of Gender Based Violence by the Government is for the women to be economically empowered, which is why the State Government, through the Ministry, is dedicated to providing women with the opportunity of learning new skills through the many skill acquisition centres in the State.”
Speaking in Lagos on Friday at the symposium organized to round up the 16-Day Activism Against Gender Based Violence, themed “Unite to End Violence against Women”, Akande said gender-based violence is undoubtedly one of the most common forms of violence in the world.
She said the costs of violence against women are enormous, noting that gender-based violence is a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, non-discrimination, physical and mental integrity.
Akande stated further that there are significant links between gender-based violence and a range of other reproductive and sexual health problems, including sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, conception and abortion, maternal morbidity and mortality and adverse pregnancy outcomes among others.
The Commissioner, therefore, enjoined all women to speak out against all forms of violence, saying that there is a safe haven at the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation where they can seek solace from abuse any time the need arises.
She also implored them to call the following helplines:08102678443, 08085754226, 08085594141 to report any form of abuse against women or children.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Alakija Ladapo, the symposium facilitator, advised women to report any case of Domestic Violence and not allow it to be swept under the carpet, stating that Domestic Violence is a crime against the State and not against individuals.
Responding on behalf of the Participants, Mr. Koleade, a community development leader from Ojokoro LCDA, thanked the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Lagos State Government for exposing them to the ways to curb the menace of Gender Based Violence in their respective Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas and various communities.