Erelu Fayemi calls for state of emergency on sexual violence

THE FIRST Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi has reiterated her call for the declaration of State of Emergency on sexual violence in
the country.

Erelu Fayemi said that such declaration would ensure Political Will to
fight the scourge of ‘sexual violence’, adding that, states that have
passed the law on Violence Against Women, VAW, would be able to
implement the law to the fullest.

The Wife of the Governor, who stated this in her keynote address at
the 20th Anniversary of Project Alert on Violence Against women, held
at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, added that a State of
Emergency on Sexual Violence would ensure that states that have not
passed the law, do so.

“It will provide support to the arrays of women organizations that
work in very remote areas where people don’t know where to go for
help. I will like to call for political will, resources and
information sharing”, she said.

She said that the focus of advocacy should now be on community engagement.

In her words, “I am based in Ekiti, a predominantly rural state, where
not everyone has access to information. So we need to engage community
leaders, religious leaders and arrays of people there.”

She therefore lent her voice to those of the Civil Society
Organizations, calling for more attention to be paid “to what has
become a national pandemic”, that is, the Gender Based Violence,
particularly Sexual Violence.

Mrs. Fayemi recalled that the Special Victims Unit, SVU, used to be
her favourite and said, “Why can’t we have SVU in Nigeria? It is not
impossible to have it if we have got political will and we do need
resources to push it through. “

Going down memory lane, she recalled the journey to Beijing, and
25years after the Beijing experience of feminism.

“The questions we asked ourselves after the Beijing experience was how
we were going to prepare ourselves for the task ahead. We did not have
the tools, knowledge and network. That is how African Women Leadership, AWL, was born way back in 1996″, she recalled.

She explained that “AWL was formed because we wanted it to be a Forum
for young African women between the ages of 25 to 40. We gave a
prediction that at some point, they will be the ones leading NGO’s in
the continent, they will be Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and so

Mrs. Fayemi said that the idea was to have these women at decision
making level.

“Today we have recorded 8000 African Women across the continent that
passed through the institute. Some of them have served in parliaments,
as Ministers and the current Vice President of the Gambia is one of
them”, she disclosed.

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