A total of 753 gender-based violence reports were received within two years in Lagos State, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has said.

Bolaji Dada, commissioner for women affairs and poverty alleviation, said this Tuesday during the 2021 ministerial press briefing to mark the second anniversary of the Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office in Ikeja.

“46 men were violated in the year 2020, while 378 women were violated,” she said.

“And in the year 2021, from January till date, we have had 43 males report gender-based and domestic violence issues and 286 women.”

Mrs Dada said the ministry also distributed food items to over 5000 vulnerable and indigent women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The UN-Women in collaboration with the Ministry also gave food items to 180 women groups and identified clusters like; people living with disability, people living with HIV/AIDS, and Faith-based groups during the lock-down.

“WAPA-COVID gifts were given to women during the COVID-19 pandemic (Face-mask, Hand sanitizers, etc).”

Poverty alleviation programmes

The commissioner said “in the last two years, the ministry through the Women Affairs Department organized series of programmes and activities, aimed at improving the status of women in Lagos state by making them economically independent.”

She said about 6,780 women have been empowered with vocational skills and have received “startup packs, to help kickstart their businesses” across the state.

“In all, the ministry had trained about 6,780 Women in Twenty-Five (25) Centres within the 3 Senatorial Districts of the State.”

She said some of the women were trained in various vocational skills including hairstyling, tie and dye, event decoration, cakes & snacks production, soap and pomade making, stove wick and Insecticide production in the ministry’s Short-term Vocational Skills Acquisition initiative within four weeks.

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She said the short term programme was organised to “tackle unemployment situation of women and young female adults, widows, indigent/vulnerable women, women living with health challenges and disabilities, civil servants exiting from active service, women drawn from faith-based organizations and other categories of women in Lagos State.

“This was done with the assurance that the skills acquired will create income-generating ventures for beneficiaries.

The commissioner said the 19 skill acquisition centres in the state produced about 6,000 graduates yearly “despite limited resources.”

“The Ministry has continued to maximize the available resources to ensure the smooth running of the Skills Acquisition Centres, in spite of the limited resources,” said Mrs Dada.

“In collaboration with Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board (LASTVEB), the Ministry reviewed the training syllabus which has led to the award of highly recognised Certificate of Competence to Graduates of the Centres.

“This has further created a seamless movement for interested Graduates of Skill Centers, who were willing to further their Vocational Trainings up to Tertiary Institution, without inhibition for further study programmes.

She noted that 500 women have benefited from the entrepreneurial and digital initiative organised by the Ministry.

“The training was aimed at exposing women and young adults to online marketing of their products being produced from skills acquired at the Vocational Centres,” she said.

“Another 500 would be trained in Digital Marketing before the end of May 2021 and some of them will be given mobile android to enhance their online business.”

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