The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has held the Year 2022 Women Security and Peace Forum with the theme: “Strengthening Women’s Resilience and Leadership as a Path to Peace in Regions”, aimed at fostering security and peace amongst residents, especially women in the State. 

Speaking at the Forum held recently at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Ikeja, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, Commissioner for WAPA, stated that the programme was organised to seek collaborative efforts with paramilitary organisations in a bid to create a safe environment for residents across the State.  

Dada, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Affairs, Mrs. Funmi Adegoke, harped on the need for collaboration with stakeholders such as Security agents, Community leaders, Market women, Youths and Religious leaders, to enhance active participation of everyone in curbing SGBV by promoting peace and security among Lagosians. 

She averred that, in line with the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Administration’s zero tolerance against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), the Ministry has conceived a workable and practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice and sustainability at the centre of recovery and transformation of the lives of vulnerable women across the State. 

“Mr. Governor understands the crucial roles that women play in building the society, as such, the State Government is determined to create a safe space for them and is passionate about their welfare, hence the various initiatives and programmes organised to ease their plights”, she added 

The Commissioner emphasised the need to sensitise security personnel to align with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325), which underscores the importance of equal participation and involvement of women in all processes of peacekeeping, conflict resolution and management within their various environments.

Dada, therefore, charged participants to be change agents who spread awareness in cases of human rights violation, by speaking out and calling the toll-free number #767 for help towards eradicating the menace in their various communities. 

The Director of the Legal Unit in WAPA, Mrs. Yemisi Ogunlola, stated that Lagos is relentless in its fight against SGBV, as such, victims and witnesses are implored to speak out in order to arrest and punish perpetrators. 

She further charged the participants to improve response timelines and make victims feel safe while handling cases, to encourage others to speak out and join in the fight against SGBV. 

Also speaking at the event, Deputy Director of Social Welfare and Child Development Unit in the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mrs. Adebambo Modupeola, encouraged victims to seek help where necessary, while imploring participants to make certain that appropriate mechanisms are in place to properly combat SGBV menace. 

Similarly, the Commander of the Special Female Squad, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Lagos State Command, Deputy Superintendent, Ada Agada commended WAPA for organising the event and enjoined participants to engage security operatives, as collaborative efforts in attending to issues of insecurity within their immediate environment.