The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has declared readiness to support the Lagos State Deaf Women Association (LSDWA) on its planned strategic sensitisation campaign programme against all forms of violence on women living with physical incapabilities as part of efforts to curb the high rate of sexual violence among speech and hearing-impaired women.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Association led by its Chairman, Mrs. Yemisi Alabi, the Honourable Commissioner for WAPA, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, said the request by the Association is in line with one of the objectives of the government, which is to provide all necessary support to residents, especially vulnerable women in Lagos State.

Dada, represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts (WAPA), Mrs. Olanrewaju Lawal, pointed out that the State Government has also created many programmes to empower women through its 19 Skills Acquisition Centres in five divisions of Lagos State, urging women of all categories including those living with disabilities to take advantage of any of the programmes for financial independence.

She explained that the training programmes are part of the all-inclusive policy of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration geared towards ensuring that all residents, especially women and regardless of their disability, health or social status, are empowered to effectively support their families.

In her remarks, the Chairperson of LSDWA, Mrs. Yemisi Alabi thanked the Ministry for the warm welcome, adding that the aim of the visit was to enlist the support of the State Government, through WAPA, on its planned sensitisation campaign aimed at curbing the high rate of sexual violence against the hearing-impaired women in Lagos State.

She lamented that many hearing-impaired women are at the receiving end of the despicable act, stressing that vulnerable deaf/mute women are usually soft targets for perpetrators because of their inability to shout for help when they are being attacked and abused.

In her words: “These Deaf women are often taken advantage of by the perpetrators, who often get away with such gruesome crime because the victims are mute during such attacks. Hence, there is need for stronger measures by the State Government to eradicate the menace in society through strategic interventions and increase in sensitisation programmes”.

The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a Sash of Honour to the Commissioner, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, by the visiting team in appreciation of her laudable contributions towards solving the plights of women in Lagos State.