..charges mothers to raise their boys well
..enjoins women to vote their types to achieve female-friendly policies
Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has called for deliberate actions towards reducing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the society.
To this end, she emphasised the need for women to unite and vote their types in to the House of Assembly, who will champion the cause of female gender and bring about formulation of policies that are favourable to women and girls.
Addressing a Press Conference earlier today at Rotunda government house ground Alagbaka, Akure, the State capital to mark this year’s 16 days Activism Against Gender-Based based violence, the Ondo First Lady, described Sexual and Gender-Based Violence(SGBV) as the most heinous crime against humanity, and called for deliberate actions from every stakeholder
towards curbing the menace.
Mrs Akeredolu who called for enough of annual marking of the 16 days activism without good outcome, charged Women-led NGOs to rise to the situation, by coming up with strategies aimed at protecting female gender from subjugation and ill-treatment.
She stressed the need for girls to be aware of the SGBV right from their tender age as one of the precautionary measures to protect them from falling victim, which, according to her was one of the objectives of her BeMore Summer Bootcamp for girls.
“Girls must begin to show interest in this advocacy and shouldn’t be oblivious of what is happening around them. Let us catch them young, let us groom them at this young age to understand what the issues are; our daughters should be aware of what is going on so that they can also protect themselves. Prevention is better than cure.
“I believe you are aware that we introduce Taekwondo in BEMORE, all the young girls in secondary school should have that skill, it’s fun and at the same time preventive. It’s one of the strategies, sensitisation should begin in school where these girls are very vulnerable”, she averred.
Highlighting the underlying factors responsible for violence against women and girls, Mrs Akeredolu charged mothers to raise their boys to value girls and decried the habit of giving preference to boys over girls.
She said: “How do we raise our boys? Who our sons are is what we made them, they’re watching you at home; that monster husband is the son of one woman”
She also identified harmful traditional practices and traditions as another factor responsible for violence against women, and implored custodians of our culture to desist from such habits that had been proven scientifically, to be of no health benefits to women.
Advocating help for victims of Gender-Based Violence, she affirmed that Foundation for Wives of Ondo State Officials, FOWOSO, was committed to providing shelter for them as part of components of its proposed centre.
Highlighting the interventions made so far in the state under the Akeredolu-led administration towards curbing the menace, Mrs Akeredolu hinted that aside the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law and establishment of the Agency Against Gender-Based Violence, OSAA-GBV, the law has been translated to Yoruba.
Earlier in her address while speaking to the theme of the event: “UniTe Activism to end Violence against women”, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender, Mrs. Olamide Falana, hinted that one in three girls or women suffered one form of SGBV in their lifetime which were usually perpetrated by close relatives.
She urged stakeholders at the event to join forces and stem the tide as she appreciated the First Lady for all her efforts geared towards curbing the menace in Ondo State.
“Her Excellency has ensured that the VAPP Law is signed because this law is the one that empowers State actors to take actions against some various forms of SGBV that were not captured earlier in other extant laws that we have in the country, like abandonment of Wives, FGM and so many others that the laws were silent about have actually be brought under VAPP Law”. She said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Mrs. Adebunmi Osadahun, thanked the First Lady, noting that most of her initiatives targeted the wellbeing of women and girls.
She affirmed that no woman on earth could exonerate herself from experiencing one gender based violence, and enjoined individuals to rise against it, saying: “The way COVID-19 was tackled headlong, the same way we must all get ourselves together, make noise about it, fight it, obey all rules and make sure there’s no sacred cow among the men who’s perpetrating all these; there should be no safe place for any rapist in the state”.
The Executive Secretary of OSAA-GBV, Mrs. Bola Joel-Afolabi, informed that the agency had started sensitising enforcers of the VAPP law across the state for its successful implementation, noting that six local government areas had been informed of its presence in the state through community awareness strategy which will cut across the state.
She called for a concerted efforts to ensure that Gender-Based Violence is eliminated in the society.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Media
(Office of the First Lady)
December 1, 2022
📸 Saidu Abdulrahman & Gbenga Fasakin