The partners of ActionAid Nigeria implementing the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Nigeria Project in Lagos state: Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP), The Voice of Women Radio WFM 91.7, NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) and Centre for Gender Economics (CGE Africa), conducted a peaceful protest to the Lagos State House of Assembly to call the governments attention to the unacceptable increase in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence plaguing the State and indeed the entire country.
The peaceful protest march was a follow-up to the nationwide social protests conducted on the 5th of June 2020 to demand the declaration of a state of emergency to curb the sharp spike in incidences of Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Nigeria. The march also sought to move the agenda forward following the declaration of the state of emergency by the Nigeria Governors Forum.
The peaceful protest march on Tuesday June 30, 2020 to the Lagos State House of Assembly by the partners was aimed at pressing home the demand for stricter punishment for SGBV offences. The protesters sought an audience with the Honourable Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, to present an 11-point petition calling for action on the part of elected representatives in Lagos State. The 11-point petition among other things demanded for:
- Funding for SGBV programming and implementation of existing legislation
- The domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAAP) Act
- The establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in all local government areas in Lagos State.
- Massive and aggressive community sensitization for the prevention of SGBV
- Dedicated police officers trained and equipping with necessary logistics to respond to SGBV cases.
The establishment of Police task force on gender-based violence to ensure prompt investigation and prosecution of all reported incidences sexual assault in the state.
Although the Honorable Speaker and the Lagos State House of Assembly were in session, the introductory letter and petition were received from the protesters by the Office of the speaker. The partners thereafter visited the Ministry of Justice to submit a similar set of demands for consideration by the Commissioner of Justice.