… Says No Excuse for Violence

Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN) Lagos State Chapter recently partnered with WARDC and TCI among others to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children.

The webinar organised by NRHJN focused on the Theme: “Unite, Invest to prevent violence against women and girls” by featuring Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, The ED/CEO, Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC who talked at length on the topic: “Mitigating the Impact of Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women in Nigeria “.

She highlighted works done so far, proffered solutions to the issue and called for more media advocacy, engagements and partnerships.

In her contribution, Dr. Omotunde Odanye, Lagos State Program Manager of The Challenge Initiative, TCI Nigeria, spoke on the topic: “Empowering Women Through Family Planning: A Path to Gender Equality and Violence Prevention “

She urged women to take their health and well-being as top priority by adopting family planning methods that’s most appropriate for them.

Speaking during the webinar, Mr. Lekan Otufodunri, the Director, Media Career Development Network looked at “The Role of the Media in Raising Awareness and Challenging Stereotypes regarding Sexual and GenderBased Violence.”

He commended the efforts of members of the Network and other Journalists so far and called for more media advocacy and engagement of all stakeholders with the aim of ending the scourge without stigmatising those affected.

Also, Mrs Lola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, DSVA, who was ably represented by the Head of Legal team of the agency, Mrs Tope Oyedija dwelt extensively “The Role of Policy and Legislation in Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence in Lagos State.”

She enumerated efforts put in place by the state government as well as some cases handled so far while urging people to always report cases of SGBV by calling this DSVA toll free number ;
08000 333 333

Another remarkable aspect of the webinar was the experience sharing by Queen Esther Abiola, a SGBV Heroine who went down memory of her struggles with SGBV urging women to be strong spiritually, emotionally and psychological while taking financial independence and empowerment as key factor.

“Another important thing is to seek the support of family, friends and those genuinely interested in rendering assistance. “

She availed everyone the link to her book on rape; and urged everyone to read the book. The book is indeed a must-read for all.

In her welcome address, Kikelomo Oduyebo, Lagos State Coordinator, NRHJN, called on governments at all levels to ensure that justice is done to all cases of SGBV in order to serve as deterrent to others.

In her goodwill message, the President of the Network, Mrs Yinka Shokunbi commended the Lagos State Chapter for organising the webinar describing it as very timely and worthwhile effort while urging other States Chapters of the network to emulate Lagos State by organising more webinar and physical programmes.

Other dignitaries who gave their goodwill messages include Dr Ajoke Sariyu Ashiru Chairman, Interfaith Public Health Advocacy, Lagos, Mr Abiodun Ajayi , Acting Executive Director, Public Health Sustainable Advocacy Initiative, PHSAI and Mr.Ayo Adebusoye, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development ( LACSOP).

The Network at the national level had earlier had a twitter storm with #16DaysOfActivism, #16DaysOfActivismAgainstGBV among others and believe that there shouldn’t be any excuse for violence against women and girls with the firm belief that women and girls have the right to live freely in the society without any form of violence.

For NRHJN, the advocacy and awareness creation is a continuous conversation deeply committed to by the Network.

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