23rd August, 2010
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Joke Adefulire-Orelope, is appalled that many husbands have formed the habit of beating their wives and has therefore begged them to desist from such debilitating act.
The commissioner spoke in Lagos, South West Nigeria, when she received 40 female final year students of the University of Lagos, who were at the government secretariat to familiarise themselves with the activities of the state government.
The students were on the visit under the auspices of the South African High Commission in partnership with the Lagos State Government on the programme, Take a girl out for one day.
The commissioner received the students on behalf of the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Sosan.
According to her, over 100 women, who were thoroughly beaten by their husbands had been rescued and kept in the state governmentâ€™s home for women victims of domestic violence, pending when the matter would be resolved with their husbands.
â€œWe have a home for victims of domestic violence when there is a problem in the family while interaction and negotiation is ongoing.Â While they are in the home, we give themÂ vocational training.
â€œWe will not allow them to stay in their home while their husbands continue to beat them so that they will not be killed. After the resolution of the matter, the husbands are made to sign an undertaking that they will not beat their wives again or they go to prison,â€ she stated.
She added that the ministry waded in to settle the rift between husbands and wives in order to save the home so that the children would not be wayward, saying that many men beat their wives probably due to poverty.
â€œPoverty triggers lots of crisis in the home.Â Â Out of anger and frustration, the men do beat their wives. We donâ€™t love this idea.Â Â Women are supporters of men. God created us to support you.
â€œIf you have your wife as your friend, you donâ€™t have to lay your hand on her. If you love your wife, you wonâ€™t beat her. Women too should respect their husbands,â€ she counselled.
On the Take a girl out for one day, Orelope-Adefulire said the programme gave girls from tertiary institutions opportunity to familiarise with government activities, adding that 40 girls that came on the visit were distributed to various government agencies to learn how they carry out their duties.
On the possibility of government employing a large number of graduates, the commissioner said there was no way it could employ the teeming graduates from tertiary institutions, advising them to look into the aspect of being self-employed.
â€œYou can go into business. If you are good in fashion designing, that does not mean you are not good. There is a limit to what government can take in terms of employment. We, girls need financial empowerment because we are vulnerable; you can learn a skill to sustain yourself.
â€œGovernment already has a heavy wage bill and cannot employ everybody.Â We think that the Federal Government should give Lagos State a special status. The responsibility of being a former Federal Capital Territory is still very heavy on us,â€ she stated.