The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Cecilia Bolaji-Dada has urged women in the state to speak out against all forms of gender based violence, assuring them that the state government has made provision of adequate shelter for them.
The Commissioner gave the advice on Thursday, 27 August, 2020, at Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area, where she inaugurated the Women Assembly Forum for six local governments and local councils development areas.
Mrs Bolaji-Dada stated that all over the world, women face a myriad of challenges ranging from financial, economic, security, marital issues and of recent, gender based violence, particularly rape, and this ugly trend formed the basis for inauguration of the Women Assembly.
She added that the passion displayed by the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards the cause of women, motivated the Ministry to create a platform where government could have one on one discussion with women in Lagos State, on various aspects of their life.
She explained, “I am happy to inform you that we are replicating this forum in six zones: Surulere, Odiolowo, Orile Agege, Apapa, Ikosi-Isheri and Alimosho”.
She continued, “this forum promises to be an inclusive one for all women in the state, regardless of their status,profession or social stand, this forum will give our women, room to participate in policies and programs relating to women and their social protection, other issues that will be discussed include, Empowerment, Financial Management and Behavioural issues”.
The Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the present administration in the state to promoting the cause of women, eradicating poverty, empowerment and ensuring adequate protection for all women and young ladies.
She advised women to take proper care of their health, personal hygiene, husbands, children and do a lot of physical exercises.
She further assured them that the Lagos state government has created many channels to protect them against any form of violence.She said that, government is building a shelter for women in Agidingbin, where they would be accommodated in case they are thrown out of their homes because they decide to cry out against violence meted to them.
She concluded that the Ministry has made available phone numbers that can be used by abused women to lodge genuine complaints.
In her welcome address, the Executive Chairman of Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Princess Samiat Abolanle Bada commended the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for the Women Assembly Forum Initiative, adding that it is the first of its kind in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
The Mayoress, as she is popularly called, implored women at various local governments to make optimal use of all opportunities abound in the forum to improve their social, economic and general well-being.
Princess Bada submitted that her administration, since inception in February this year, has been providing succour for Widows and the Aged, through her monthly empowerment and poverty alleviation program tagged “Feed The Elderly and Widows Initiative”.
She added that thousands of women in the council area have benefited from the initiative and that,she intends to continue in that direction.
The Women Assembly Forum was attended by women of different status of six local governments and councils areas of the state.They are,Ikeja and Kosofe Local Governments,Ojodu,Onigbongbo,Agboyi-Ketu and Ikosi-Isheri LCDAs.
Dignitaries in attendance include: the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Oluyemi Kalesanwo; the Deputy Mayor of Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Alhaji Mukail Adisa; the Chairperson of the council, Mrs Muyibat Balogun; the Deputy Leader of Ikosi-Isheri Legislative Arm, Hon Folashade Akinpelu; Commissioner in the Lagos State Audit Service Commission, Alhaja Kafilat Ogbara; and wives of chairmen of the five councils, among others.