Lagos DSVA Holds International Women’s Day Symposium 

The International Women’s day symposium was organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency on Friday 15th of March  2024 at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, with the campaign  theme for the international women’s day celebration 2024  “INSPIRE INCLUSION”.  This year’s campaign theme underscores the crucial role of inclusion in achieving gender equality and calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected.   The Executive Secretary of the Lagos state Domestic and sexual violence agency, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi  gave a brief outline of  the event’s objectives which was in line with the theme ‘inspire inclusion’  She stated that the month of march has been specially reserved to celebrate women all over the world and gave a brief history how the international women day started.  She added that the program will help to raise awareness on the kind of stigmatization that exists, encouraging inclusion for women whilst also encouraging SGBV Survivors. The Rule of Law and Anti Corruption program(ROLAC) coordinator, Mrs Ajibola Ijimakinwa  gave an overview of what ROLAC is all about. She stated that it is all about strengthening the rule of law, curbing corruption, increasing access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities.  The first Panel session addressed with the different facets of stigmatization and its effects on survivors and the society and had panelists which included Mrs Debola Oni, Director, Dayspring Helps Ministry, Dr Funmilayo Akinola, Chief Consultant Psychiatrist, Federal Neuro Psychiatrist Hospital, Yaba, Mrs Bunmi Orekoya, Head, Alternative Dispute Resolution, DSVA, and a Survivor Mrs Oluwatosin Soyode and was  moderated by Mrs Oyinkansola Momoh, Programs Officer from the DSVA. The session kicked off with the moderator asking about their various experiences in the workplace or family setting. Mrs Debola Oni talked about the stigmatization by religious organizations and how these organizations are not doing their best to support women from abusive homes due to prejudice.  Dr. Funmiola Akinola talked about the mental health of the survivors. She stated that most survivors come with different mental health issues like depression, anxiety disorders, suicide Ideation and also laid emphasis on the dangers of self stigmatization  Mrs Bunmi Orekoya talked about cultural stigmatization which prevents most women from speaking up, she stated that women should be enlightened on the importance of speaking up and  they should also be empowered.  The survivor mrs Oluwatosin Soyode gave an insight on how the most hurtful type of stigmatization is the one from family members. She also added that religious organizations should take the lead in setting policies and action plan towards Domestic abuse of their members. She commended DSVA for putting up a program like this to help survivors. She spoke to survivors to khow they need themselves and have a part to play in accepting themselves because they are worthy.  The second session was moderated by Ms. Tomisin Akinwunmi with the topic- How can we make the society more inclusive for young women and persons with disabilities. ,the speakers were  Mrs Adeolu who represented the General Manager, LASODA Mrs Adenike Oyetunde, Director, Center for Women’s Health and Information, Mrs Atinuke Ofunkoya and The Founder, Live Again Foundation Ms. Enifome Ogbimi. The moderator began by asking how the society has helped persons with disabilities with employment opportunities and how we can dismantle the exclusion of Persons living with disabilities from health care, education and social organizations.  Mrs Adenike responded that the educational system in Nigeria has a huge role to play in helping persons with disabilities and emphasized on the need for them to improve their action.Ms  Tomisin asked Mrs Atinuke Odunkoya on how we can include young women in decision making,  She responded that women need to know what they want to be in life not just following whatever life gives to them. She also  talked about the need for creation of mentorships. Ms  Enifome added that personal branding is a very important factor in every woman’s life. The third session was tagged Confidence and self esteem interactive session facilitated by Mrs Oyinkansola Momoh and Program Officer, USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPEAUH) Mrs Nancy Ufia. Mrs Nancy concluded by appreciating participants for accepting the invitation and encouraged everyone to join hands to work towards a better future as the event was brought to a close by Head of Public Affairs, DSVA,  Mrs Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni LAGOS DSVA 15/3/2024

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