Lagos urges stakeholders to end gender-based violence

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LAGOS – The Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, on Friday called on all stakeholders collaborate to end the scourge of gender-based violence in the country.

Orelope-Adefulire made the call in Lagos at the first Leadership of Women (GLOW) conference with the theme:” Justice for All”.

The conference was organised by the Zone of the National Association of Women Judges in .

The deputy governor said the state government would continue to partner with stakeholders to end the menace.

Orelope-Adefulire was represented by Mrs Riskat Akiyode, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

“The theme chosen for this conference is indeed most relevant to seek and demand justice for all, and particularly, for all the poor and victims of domestic violence, child abuse, rape as well as sexual harassment.

“It is also most appropriate using this forum to call on all stakeholders for joint and united actions to end this scourge threatening to decapitate our society,” Orelope-Adefulire said.

According to her, a 2007 report, published by Amnesty International, confirmed two-thirds of women were believed to have been subjected to physical, sexual and psychological violence.

The deputy governor said these heinous acts were carried out primarily by husbands, partners, fathers, uncles, cousins, relations and guardians or male colleagues.

The , Justice Aloma Mukhtar, said many cultural practices which tended to oppress women and children were clear violations of their fundamental human rights.

Mukhtar, who was represented by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, urged members of the judiciary to play a pivotal role in bringing perpetrators of such acts to justice.

“It is hoped that there will be a better understanding of the need to create an enabling environment only for the investigation of these offences but also for the trial of such cases in court.

“This would give victims the courage to report incidents to appropriate authorities with the conviction that their matters would be addressed with dispatch, discretion and sensitivity,” Mukhtar added.

The President of association, Justice Moronkeji Ogunwumiju, said there was an urgent need to check the rise in the incidents of rape and other sexual offences in Nigeria.

“The association has taken the initiative to train stakeholders drawn from the different spheres of the society and enforcements, including police women, students, market women and judges.

“Until the existing laws are reviewed and strengthened to meet the demands of modern life, we on our part have decided to add value to the process by training them to promote access to justice for the victims,” Ogunwumiju said.

Earlier in her welcome address, the of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, said the conference was aimed at promoting justice for victims of rape and domestic violence.

Phillips said judges must use their voices and power to promote campaigns against all forms of violence against women and children.

She said: “we can be more sensitive to the plight of those who come before us seeking justice because we are the last hope of the downtrodden.” (NAN)