Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) has demanded that the Lagos State Government improve on access to justice for survivors of Gender Based Violence by implementing relevant laws and policies that punish perpetrators of violence against women and girls.
WARDC believes that with improved access to justice, perpetrators would be deterred from continuing with their barbaric acts.
This demand was made by Mrs. Mary George Peluola, Deputy Director WARDC, and Programme Coordinator, Strengthening Women’s Rights under the organization’s Spotlight Initiative Project, while speaking with BONews Service, after the one-day training for Women Groups and Human Rights Advocates (HRA) on strategies to ending violence against women and girls in the society, an activity to commemorate the 16 Days Activism.
Pelulola buttressed that access to justice is essential as it will serve as an example to other perpetrators of this act, thereby reducing the cases of violence against women and girls.
“Our demand is that the government look at the policies on Gender-based Violence and make sure that the implementation of such policies are held firm for oppressors to see that the law is working and this will teach them to stop.
“Thus, the fear of the consequence is enough to curb that act in our society and we will continue to make this demand,” she added.
Pelulola noted that the training organized by WARDC is an effort to reduce GBV incidence in the state, adding that “the training was to sensitised the HRA, Women group, traditional leaders, CSOs, PWDs, Youths and students on what to do when they see any act of GBV, also to work together to build voices around ending GBV and to serve as a responds team at their various community level.
“We realized that a lot of cases are out there at the community level and nobody to answer to it, they are just there. So, it is the responsibility of traditional leaders at any point in time to be able to act and say no to violence against women.
“This training aims to educate people further on their responsibility to act against any forms of discrimination and GBV within the community,” she added.
Pelulola encouraged participants to believe in themselves as women, stressing that “build your self-esteem to that point where you believe in who you are, no matter your level, you should be able to stand up to say no when you see violence at any point in time.”
Earlier, the Executive Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode during her opening address at the lecture held in Lagos said it is essential to ‘orange the world’ to bring attention to how violence against women and girls affects the world.
Quoting relevant data, Dr. Akiyode said “one in every three women/men have experienced GBV so, there is need to improve our effort to stop GBV through educating the people because a lot are perpetrators and they don’t even know.”
According to Dr. Akiyode, the only way to fight SBV is social mobilization, “we need to organize the people in our various communities to be able to fight GBV.”
The event had about 700 participants in attendance ranging from artisans, women groups, CBOs, Faith Based Organisations, CSOs, Traditional leaders, young women, youths, and students among others.
Others present at the lecture are Paralegals, leaders of Community response team, Mrs. Nnenna Nwaokobia-Fida Lagos Branch, Olori Subair Kehinde Olayinka-Olori Otumara, Chief Mrs. Maria Baraka-Iyaloja Makoko, High Chief Kabiru Buraimoh-Baale Obanikoro, R.A. Yunusa-Baale Bajulaye, Mrs. Olagbaju E. Bolajoko-Catholic Women Organisation (CEO) secretary, Chief Mrs. Modupe Olufojude-Iyaloja general of Shomolu land, traditional leaders, Students.