The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has restated that women’s empowerment remains a focal tool for poverty alleviation across the State.

Speaking during the visit of a delegation from the Centre for Integrated Health Programme, the Permanent Secretary of WAPA, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo maintained that most problems associated with poverty can only be adequately curbed if women are allowed spaces in decision-making processes.

She said, “Poverty has the face of a woman, thus, most intervention strategies should do more to benefit them. That is why the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation is passionate about its resolve to embrace all developmental strategies with Governmental agencies to build resourceful women who can contribute meaningfully to economic growth”.

Whilst reiterating the various empowerment programmes initiated by the Ministry, Kalesanwo noted that every social group was included in the scheme such as People Living With Disabilities, Sickle-Cell Anaemia and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) sufferers.

The Permanent Secretary emphasised that these developmental strategies were channelled with a focus on ensuring that the plights of women were well alleviated for the purpose of helping to build a society that is progressive and highly focused.

In his remarks, the Team lead/State Project Director, Centre of Integrated Health Programme (CIHP), Dr. Emmanuel Udeh, informed that 83% of reported incidences of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in some parts of Nigeria, had indications of HIV infection. Therefore, with Lagos being a commercial hub, there is a need to ensure a curb in its spread, as most cases of SGBV are not even reported.

He averred that most orphans under the mission of CIHP’s intervention programme had acquired skills which require collaboration with WAPA for the sustainability of such programmes to beneficiaries, especially on identified cases of HIV to ensure survivors have a space in the human capacity building sphere.