Cases of Violence against women and girls in Nigeria have remained high recently and rose to a near-epidemic level during the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, society has been in a constate of fighting with this menace.
To strengthen their fight against the cause, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Ford Foundation and the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs recently held a capacity-building meeting with the Council of Iyalode and Iyaloja in Lagos State towards ending sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
The meeting included Iyalodes and Iyalojas from various local councils in the state, intending to sensitise them on sexual and gender-based violence in society.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Executive Director of the WARDC, said: “Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a significant impediment to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. Such violence harms women, their families and communities socially, politically and economically.
Akiyode-Afolabi added that traditional leaders have the potential to play a positive role in ending violence against women and girls.
Olorunfemi Oluwatoyin, Director of the Domestic Violence Unit, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Lagos State, also noted that the meeting targeted reducing domestic violence in the state to the barest minimum.
“These people here today are the people from the grassroots, and they are always the first point of call when domestic violence happens in the community,” she noted.
On her part, the Olori of Yaba Kingdom, Mosunmola Adeniyi, said the programme was very educational, especially for mothers and children.
“Women matter too; here in Africa, it’s a man’s world. Women don’t have a say, but we should take care of women because they are the ones who take care of everyone when we are old; they always care.” She said
“I believe men should treat women right. Why wouldn’t you send your female children to school? Because they are going to end up in somebody’s kitchen? But somebody is in your kitchen. We have to take care of the women and children so that, in return, they will take care of you when you are old.” She added.