MY HEART BLEEDS ANYTIME WOMEN, GIRLS ARE RAPED, SAYS SANWO-OLU’S WIFE
· Urges NGOs, Civil Society Groups To Support Fight Against SGBV
Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has urged all stakeholders to support the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), saying that the necessary will must be mustered to completely stamp out the menace of rape, especially against women and girls.
She spoke at the second phase of the Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum organized by her office for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society groups involved in tackling SGBV crimes in the state.
According to a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Mrs. Olubukonla Nwonah, the forum was with the principal aim of galvanizing action among relevant stakeholders in line with the policy thrust of the state government on zero tolerance for all forms of extreme violence against women, girls, children, and also men and boys.
Speaking, the First Lady said: “To God be the glory that we are able to host the second phase of this stakeholders’ forum designed to scale up the fight against SGBV. Since the first forum in June last year, we have had a series of meetings to identify and work on the missing links between the different MDAs and organizations.
“The meetings were important and revealing. A lot came out of it and MDAs were able to harness their forces to work together. This forum is the second phase for us to meet the various NGOs and Civil Society groups that are closer to the people to understand their roles, challenges, and how to support the fight against SGBV.
“My motto in my secondary school is ‘action not words.’ A lot of talks, a lot of policies have been put in place. For me, it’s time to act more, be faster and be more proactive and that is what we are trying to do.”
Explaining that the Office of the First Lady is noted for social advocacy, she said it was always painful to hear of sexual abuse cases, just as she reiterated the need for all stakeholders to support the fight against the menace.
“A lot of progress has been achieved but there is still a lot to do. It pains my heart and my heart bleeds when I hear that there has been a rape case in any area; in any local government; in any school; in any organization and so on. It is really painful to know that these things are still happening and this reinforces the conviction that we must work collaboratively to stamp it out totally.
“We stand on zero-tolerance against SGBV. It is a lot of work but I know with the support of NGOs and Civil Society groups, we can achieve it. Government cannot do it alone and that is why NGOs are very important. So, my charge to you wonderful people is to go out there and intensify your work in our various communities against SGBV,” the First Lady said.
She also commended the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the recent signing of the Bill establishing the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency into law, and the appointment of an Executive Secretary in the person of Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, to lead the new agency.
“It is inspiring that the law, which also establishes the Sex Offenders Register, has finally become operational in the state and it is hoped that this will provide a quantum leap in terms of the legal framework to significantly and frontally tackle the menace of domestic and sexual violence, name and shame perpetrators and most importantly provide adequate medical and legal support to the victims,” she said.
The forum was well attended by NGOs and Civil Society groups in the state including Mirabel Centre, Project Alert On Violence Against Women, Women At Risk International Foundation(WARIF), Bimbo Odukoya Foundation, International Federation Of Female Lawyers, Day Spring Helps Ministry, Jashabel Touch A Heart, Eagles Wings Development, Vision Spring Initiatives, Ceceyara Foundation, Child To Child Network, Heartminders Societal, Women Law And Development Centre Nigeria, Women’s Consortiu
Afreximbank’s Kanayo Awani makes Nigeria Women Annual’s “100 Leading Women” list
The Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative Division, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, has been named among the 100 outstanding women leaders in Nigeria, according to the list published in the 2022 edition of Nigeria Women Annual: 100 Leading Women.
Mrs. Awani’s listing acknowledges her distinguished career and contributions to the development of society.
As Managing Director, Mrs. Awani currently leads the Bank’s efforts in implementing its intra-African trade and industrialisation strategies.
A statement by the bank said she successfully led Afreximbank’s engagement in support of the establishment and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and was the arrowhead for the introduction and organization of the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which has delivered trade and investment deals valued at over US$70 billion.
She previously led Afreximbank’s Trade Finance and Branches Department from 2009 to 2016, growing it into the Bank’s most profitable department which accounted for over 80 percent of its loan book.
Mrs. Awani is also the Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of Factors Chain International (FCI), a global factoring association.
“The Nigeria Women Annual: 100 Leading Women” is the premier qualitative profiling of phenomenal women who have contributed to the development of Nigeria and the world.
A gender-specific biographical compendium, it responds to existing gender gaps in Nigeria’s biographical documentation and leadership and, in 2022, focused on the most inspirational and influential women whose work contributed to shaping Nigeria’s collective history during the year.
This year’s list includes technology experts, politicians, teachers, activists, development practitioners, C-Suite corporate leaders, and other notable women.
Gender Bills: Women should not lose hope on their demands – Senate President
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has advised women not to lose hope on their demands for legislations on gender related matters.
Lawan spoke in Agasa in Kogi State on Thursday against the backdrop of some gender related bills that recently failed to scale through at the National Assembly in the ongoing review being carried out on the 1999 Constitution.
Senate President made a strong case for education of the girl child shortly before he commissioned a 600 capacity JAMB CBT Centre which was facilitated by Senator Yakubu Oseni who is representing Kogi Central Senatorial District.
“I know somebody will say gender bills have failed in the National Assembly. That is democracy. Let’s continue to lobby.
“We should continue to lobby because nobody will like to undermine anybody. Let’s not lose hope.
“Every male member in the National Assembly is a “He for She” because I don’t think there is anybody who is not married in the National Assembly.
“We will continue to work together with gender based organisations especially those that genuinely want to engage with members of the National Assembly because if you are not able to get something, if there is a failure, we should make it a political capital that tomorrow, we say, you were not able to do it yesterday, can you do it today. That will help us in ensuring that we get some of these hurdles out of the way.
“Most of us have our daughters as well. So we know that everybody is one way or the other connected to this struggle but we should not lose hope,” Lawan said.
Gender Bills: Nigerian Women Continue Protest At NASS For Fifth Day
Women under various groups on Thursday continued their protest at the National Assembly gate.
For the fifth day, the women gathered early morning at the National Assembly demanding that lawmakers rescind their decision over rejection of five gender bills in the process of amendment of 1999 constitution.
The protest by the women drawn from various groups started on Wednesday, March 2, and members of the House of Representatives in reaction to their demands, on Tuesday, March 8, rescinded their decision on three of the gender bills.
The women, however, continued the protest demanding the members of the Senate join their House of Representatives in re-visiting the bills.
They also want approval for all the five gender bills.
Among other demands, the women want specific seats in the National Assembly, indigeneship of their husband’s state after five years of being together, and 35% affirmative action for women.
They insist that they will continue to picket the gate of the National Assembly till all their demands are met.
They also threatened to vote out the lawmakers who voted against women in the constitutional review.
They demand that the voting pattern for those bills be released to them so they can mobilse women at all levels of government to vote out the lawmakers who they say took a stand against Nigerian women at the constitutional review.
The groups gathered for the protest include the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWA), Women Organisation for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), Women In Business (WIMBIZ), Action Aid, Yiaga Africa, the Islamic Youth League, among others.
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