Welcome! This is HNR. Mrs. MojisolaOluwa Alli-Macaulay
I’m delighted to grace this epoch making event meant to address one of the social ills spreading like wildfire within our national shore, and global society as a whole. The Launch of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Virtual System could not have come at a better time than now with astronomical increase in the number of men to women abuses, and women to men abuses, as well as; girls to boys abuse and vice versa.
The statistics on gender based violence is not only disturbing but also scary. Our world is fast disappearing, all thanks to all forms of violence and inhumanity to humanity. The sanctity of life is under threat due to gender based violence. A study recently commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) in Nigeria with support from the Norwegian Government found out that 28% of Nigerian women aged 25-29 have experienced some form of physical violence since age 15. Precisely, the body further stated that, in Nigeria, 80 million women and girls still fall victims of gender-based violence (GBV), despite the progress made by the country. The Nigeria Demography and Health Survey (NDHS, 2013) and Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS, 2016) show that 28% of them experienced physical abuse, 7% sexual abuse, 62.6% child marriage and 25.3% female genital mutilation.
Gender Based Violence (GBV) such as intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual assault, female genital mutilation, sexual exploitation and abuse, child abuse, female infanticide, and child marriage according to Arango (2014) is however not limited to women and girls. It also affects men and boys. The fact also is that men and boys are fast becoming endanger species like their female counterparts.
It is in this regards, the launching of this Sexual and Gender Based Violence Virtual System today is a welcome development and a commendable one that we must applaud the Lagos State Government for, by taking on this scourge head-on. It is instructive to note that the Lagos State House of Assembly of which I’m proud to represent here today has been at the vanguard of promulgating laws that protect the rights of women and the vulnerable. The State was the first to prescribe life imprisonment for the offense of rape as well as create the offense of sexual assault by penetration to address other sexual offences. These interventions were introduced and captured into Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015. Lagos was also the first State to introduce a multiagency approach in responding to Sexual and Gender Based Violence, a model that has been emulated by over ten States in the country. Significantly, the State has been able to attend to over 7500 survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence since 2015.
To consolidate on these gains, the Lagos State House of Assembly is considering a piece of legislation that would ensure holistic response to incidents of SGBV. The Bill would also establish the Sex Offenders Register who has been scientifically proven to serve as deterrence, and end the culture of impunity. Thus the launch and wholesale implementation of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Virtual System will not only make reportage on GBV possible with or without physical contact but also faster. Same goes to treatment and therapy.
As parents and stakeholders, we must however go beyond the launch of this programme to our various homes and families, because every abuser and the abused were once someone’s son and someone’s daughter. We must imbibe in the young boys and girls the values of love, dignity of labour and respect for one another irrespective of gender, creed and race. The time is now, not tomorrow; and we can achieve much more with this if we’re half as determined as we are agitated about this trend in no distant time.
Thank you all for your time.
Send a private message to Honourable Mojisola