By ADEOLA ADENUGA
Hundreds of women have in Lagos gathered to reflect on the significant of the International Women’s Day in the context of the prevailing challenges of poverty of the Nigerian woman. The event was organized by the Community Peoples Initiative Against AIDS (COPEAIDS) in collaboration with the Office of the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
The theme of this year’s celebration by the United Nations was tagged, “A promise is a promise, time for action to end violence against women is now’. However the Lagos audience focused on ‘HIV, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Livelihood in Lagos’.
Dr Joe Okei Odumakin, the leader of Campaign for Democracy, (CD) and coordinator of Women Arise, said it was time for Nigerian women to press for fundamental changes that would uplift them from a state of economic and political depression. Odumakin was represented at the occasion by Mr Gbenga Ganzalo.
Speaking at the event which drew women from across the country, the Executive Director of the Community Peoples Initiative Against, AIDS (COPEAIDS), Mrs Feyisike Adeoye ‘who spoke on the ‘Environmental Livelihood, and the Challenges of Women in a Developing Economy”, said the forms of violence against women in Nigeria have seen correspondent rise in the spread of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria. She said law enforcement authorities are responding to the issue of violence against women but not with the speed anticipated the victims of injustice.
“It delights our hearts to see that there is the increasing understanding that environmental sustainability is liked with the fight against deadly diseases including the HIV and AIDs scourge. We need to rise with greater strength against high fatality rate among women, the problems of social dislocation, the challenges of taboos and how they affect women and the generation social and political policies that tend to push women to lowest path of the ladder”, she told the representatives drawn from labour, civil society, women groups and the media.
The representative of the Lagos State Government, Dr (Mrs) Lateefat Adeleye, said the state government has improved in the fight against violence saying that authorities in the state are meeting local and global expectations in the campaign against HIV and AIDS and the violence that target women.