Invictus Africa, Budgit, Ford Foundation Ranks Lagos Tops In SGBV Prevention And Response….As Womanity Index Is Launched

The Lagos State Government has been ranked number 1 in the prevention and response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Country at the Official Launch of the *”WOMANITY INDEX”*, by Invictus Africa, in partnership with BudgIT Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation.  The Event which took place on the 3rd of December at Fraser Suites, Abuja was graced by distinguished personalities and stakeholders from various fields in attendance also had the First Ladies of some States.  The Womanity Index is an annual assessment and ranking of subnational governments based on their performance in advancing gender equality. The Womanity Index encompasses five domains: Gender-Based Violence, Women’s Health, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Women’s Political Representation, and Educational Parity.  The 2023 edition is focused on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) wherein states are assessed on their commitments to GBV prevention and response based on 17 indicators across five indexes – Laws and Policies, Access to Legal Justice, Support Services, Information and Awareness, and Budget and Expenditure. Speaking as a panelist at the launch, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, shared the various strategies the State Government has adopted including the setting up of the Response Team which has now metamorphosed into a full-fledged Government Agency, the statutory agency responsible for coordinating response, providing holistic response and services to survivors, preventing SGBV amongst other statutory responsibilities.  Whilst speaking,  She underscored the collaboration and partnership that exists between sister Government MDAs including the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Education, nongovernmental organizations, the police and of course the Lagos State Judiciary as critical in winning the war against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.  The year 2023 edition is focused on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) wherein states are assessed on their commitments to GBV prevention and response based on 17 indicators across five indexes – Laws and Policies, Access to Legal Justice, Support Services, Information and Awareness, and Budget and Expenditure.  Speaking as a panelist at the launch, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi,  shared the various strategies the State Government has adopted including the setting up of the Response Team which has now metamorphosed into a full-fledged agency, the statutory agency responsible for coordinating response, providing holistic response and services to survivors, preventing SGBV amongst other statutory responsibilities.  She emphasized the need for collaboration and partnership amongst sister Government agencies and nongovernmental organisations and the need to approach SGBV from a multi-disciplinary lens; as a security, and public health concern, with grave economic consequences as well as an access to justice problem.  According to her, this approach has led to the mainstreaming of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence into various sectors.  She further noted the need for political will in addressing this menace, whilst appreciating the unrelenting effort and unwavering zero-tolerance stance against all forms of abuse by the Governor of Lagos State,  Mr. Bababjide Olusola SanwoOlu, in ensuring the menace is eradicated.  On her part, Vivour-Adeniyi said, it is a validation and a win for the entire state, noting that it is a call to be unrelenting in collaborative efforts by ensuring the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is reduced to the barest minimum.  The report can be downloaded by the link below;  Joke Ladenegan-Oginni  Lagos DSVA 4/12/2023

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