By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
As part of efforts to provide succour for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, the Ekiti State Government in partnership with Federal Government and Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) on Thursday inaugurated a 208-bed Transit Home and Skill Development Center in Ado-Ekiti,the Ekiti State capital.
The commissioning was part of activities marking this year’s 16 days global campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the State
Speaking at the inauguration,ithe Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq said the facility contains an administrative block, a crèche, clinic, a 250 -seater conference hall, and well equipped skills acquisition centre to provide succour for GBV victims in the State.
The inauguration was attended by Governor Kayode Fayemi, his wife and Chairperson, GBV Management Committee, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire,the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaye, members of the State Executive Council, Members of the House of Assembly, Women groups and other civil society groups.
The initiative, according to the minister was in demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to attaining global goals and empowering women in achieving their full potentials.
The Minister, who noted that the
Covid-19 lockdown brought about increase in gender-based violence, disclosed that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Human Affairs had launched a tracking and monitoring mechanism on cases of violence and abuse against women in the country.
She promised that her ministry would continue to partner and support states and other stakeholders in initiating policies that guarantees the protection of women and girls in the society.
She said: “This facility is being commissioned at the right time considering the impact of Covid 19 lockdown on women and girls, which led to the increase in gender based violence. Other unexpected outcomes of covid19 include an increase in sexual abuse, rape, unintended pregnancy, loss of jobs and poor access to healthcare services etc.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria will continue to partner with Sub-national governments to prioritize issues relating to women and girls. Mr President has approved funds to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to mitigate the effects of covid-19, which affected women disproportionately.”
Also speaking, Governor Fayemi explained that his administration is not only concerned about getting justice for victims of GBV but also to provide immediate succour that would enable them attain their full potentials as women.
Describing the transit home as a safe haven for women, the Governor assured that he would continue to partner the Federal Government in its quest for zero tolerance for Gender Based Violence across the length and breadth of the country.
Dr Fayemi said, “Violence against women is a serious violation of human rights. Its impact on victims ranges from physical, sexual, and mental consequences to even permanent disabilities. In addition, violence affects our women’s well-being and prevents them from full participation in societal development. When we all shun violence against women, it will enhance national development.
“Our approach and response to gender based violence in Ekiti State is not only to convict sexual or violence offenders in the appropriate law courts but also to provide immediate succour for victims.”
The Wife of the Governor and chairperson of GBV Committee in the State, Mrs. Fayemi commended the SSA to the President on SDG and the Minister of Women Affairs for supporting the project right from inception to completion.
She commended Governor Fayemi for recognizing the key role of women in national development and for instituting strong policy statements for the promotion of women and girls’ rights in the state.
One of the highlights of the inauguration was the distribution of cash as start up grant for vulnerable women in the society.