Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has called for at least 50 percent affirmative action for women in politics and government. He made the call in Benin City, the state capital, at the official commissioning ceremony of the Senator Daisy Danjuma Women’s Centre. NEWSWIRE Law and Events Magazine correspondent in Benin City reports that the Governor also gave an assurance that on its part, his administration reassuring would continue to prioritize policies and reforms designed to protect women, children and other vulnerable persons in the state.
“The unprecedented increase in cases of abuse particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown,” he said, “was a wakeup call and it led my administration to institute a number of legal and policy reforms aimed at protecting women and other vulnerable people in the society.”
The Centre, the Governor added, was a key part in the series of concrete steps and actions taken by his administration to salvage the future of vulnerable persons, especially women and young people, and to provide them with an opportunity for redemption.
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Calling attention to the fact that 50% of his cabinet are women, Gov. Obaseki said the gender profile of the Executive Council – far being an accident – was the visible sign of his personal beliefs concerning the importance of women’s empowerment and his hopes that other important stakeholders – in particular members of the political class, and the Edo State House of Assembly, would mirror that commitment and reflect it in their policies as they affect women.
On the state government’s decision to name the Centre after Sen. Daisy Ehanire Danjuma – who represented Edo State in the upper legislative chambers from 2003 to 2007, Gov. Obaseki cited her long-standing commitment to the campaign against gender-based violence and abuse, as well as against the incidence of high infant and maternal mortality in the state and beyond. He described her as an ’emblem’ of the Edo woman at her very best.
Also speaking, Sen. Daisy Ehanire Danjuma commended the state government for its gesture in naming the facility after her, and also for passing the requisite laws to tackle gender-based violence, as well as constituting the Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee to ensure the seamless implementation of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Act. Implementation, however, would make the difference between progress and stagnation in the campaign against these vices, she said.
She expressed confidence that the Centre would further strengthen the institutional framework that has been put in place to protect vulnerable persons in the State.
“We expect that with the center,” she added , “women who suffer abuse will be confident enough to call for help and also receive the necessary assistance they need for redress.”
In her remarks during the ceremony, the Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki said the gender-based Committee has put in place measures to ensure the privacy and safety of all who seek refuge in the facility. “With the provision of this Centre,” she noted, “we can assure you of greater productivity from the Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee. Our goal is to empower survivors to seek justice and healing and to prevent further incidents of violence from occurring.”
Earlier, the Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria described the commissioning ceremony as another milestone in Gov. Obaseki’s policy of combating gender-based violence in the State. The Centre, she said, was poised to offer timely support, medical care, legal aid, counseling, shelter, and training to all who will seek help, and would be a place for recovery and rehabilitation.
Other dignitaries at the well-attended event included the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami; a representative of the Chief Judge of Edo State; and Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Anthony Aziegbemi, among others.