SGBV: WAPA Advocates Gender-Equality Budgeting
The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has reaffirmed its stance on a safe society for women residents through the use of Gender-Budgeting across different business strata of the Society.
The Permanent Secretary of WAPA, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo stated this during the visit of a 12-member delegate from various Civil Society Organisations led by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), a non-profit organisation (NGO), which focuses on protecting, promoting and preserving the rights of women and children in Nigeria.
Kalesanwo harped on the importance of a safe space for women in a bid to unlock their full potential by empowering them for financial independence towards becoming contributors to the socio-economic development of Lagos State and enabling Gender-Equality,
While reiterating the need to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Private Sectors provide a safe environment for women residents, the Permanent Secretary harped on allocating budgetary measures to women’s emancipation that are directed at socio-economic development.
She said, “The Lagos State Government has a zero-tolerance stance against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, which is, unfortunately, a worldwide phenomenon. Therefore, the support of NGOs and CSOs with advocacy and justice is extremely crucial in curbing the menace with deliberate efforts at creating budgetary allocations in every establishment on matters relating to women”.
“The State’s Sex Offenders Register is operational and it provides the legal framework to significantly mete out justice against perpetrators and exclusively name and shame them, even as it particularly provides adequate medical and legal support to survivors”, Kalesanwo reiterated.
The Permanent Secretary urged the CSOs to encourage the unemployed or underemployed survivors to take advantage of the State Government’s 20 Skills Acquisition Centres across the State, which offer various Tuition-free Vocations for a duration of Six to 12 months.
She said, “The Ministry also offers a four-week short-term vocational training, whereby beneficiaries are equipped with certificates and starter packs for Wig-Making and Hair-Braiding, Make-Up and Gele-Tying, Tie and Dye, Catering and Confectionery, Garments Stoning, Pomade-Making, Insecticide and Stove Wick, Ankara Craft and Interior Decorations, amongst others”.
Kalesanwo informed about the dedicated toll-free emergency number #767, where people can report cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, adding that they can also visit its office at the Secretariat, Alausa or a Local Government office closer to them to access the WAPA Help Desk
The delegates’ team-lead and Chairperson of FIDA Lagos, Mrs. Chinwe Efobi, expressed gratitude to the Ministry for the warm welcome, noting that the visit was directed at generating a gender-responsive budget which ensures gender-equitable distribution of resources, thereby advancing gender equality and women empowerment.