Lagos State Government has assured Lagosians of its commitment in ensuring that no stone is left unturned in its efforts towards protecting the rights and privileges of the girl child and women in the State.
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu disclosed this during a 2-Day Sexuality seminar for youth and adolescent girls held on Tuesday at the Folarin Coker Clinic Conference Room, Alausa, Ikeja.
Dawodu noted that the discourse around girls and women is a global occurrence that cannot be overlooked, stressing that the girl child is pivotal to the substance of any form of growth whether social, economic or political.
According to him “Every girl child and women deserves to be educated, empowered and protected, either from violence or harm being one of their fundamental human rights’’.
The Commissioner stated that when girls are educated, healthy and empowered, the effect would be positively felt within the families, noting that empowering girls and women play a key role in breaking the cycle of poverty for families and strengthening of economies around the world.
Dawodu noted that the Lagos State Government is committed to the protection of the girl child and women, this he said, is demonstrated with the establishment of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in 2014 as a response to the increase in incidents of defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment in the State.
While saying that the State Government has zero-tolerance for perpetrators of crimes against the female gender, Dawodu reiterated the commitment of the Lagos State Government towards total eradication of Sexual and Gender-based violence in the State.
He informed that the Government is ready to align with the UNICEF platform of action as well as private and Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in ensuring that the youth of Lagos are effectively empowered and developed.
The Director, Administration and Human Resource, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Adewunmi Ogunsanya in a welcome address, explained that the Ministry decided to organise the seminar as part of its mandates of creating an enabling environment that promotes youth and social development services for the vulnerable, youth and adolescent girls in order to increase public awareness about the menace.
He noted that it is the Ministry’s expectation that participants that have received confusing and conflicting information about sexuality as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood will unlearn and learn the right, reliable and correct information which will prepare them for a safe, productive and fulfilling life.
The Director thanked Mirabel Centre and youth empowerment foundation for partnering with the State Government to organise the program while noting that victims of Sexual and Gender-Based violence can reach the government through the dedicated hotlines of the DSVRT team on 08000333333 or send ‘’HELP’’ to 6820 or dial *6820# on Airtel or MTN networks.