The Westminster Foundation for Development (WFD) has presented an Award of Excellence to the First Lady of Edo State, Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the eradication of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Edo State.
Mrs Grace Osakue, Consultant to WFD who presented the award on behalf of the Foundation, also officially presented a copy of the Policy Brief prepared by the foundation on Edo State’s handling of gender based violence entitled:” Overcoming the Limitations to the Implementation of the Edo State VAPP Law,” Other experts who worked on the project include Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami and Mrs Dorothy Njemanze.
In her goodwill message at the Zoom event, Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami said “When I was trying to gather data for the Anambra policy brief, one of the persons I spoke with said they are trying to adopt the Edo model.
“I must commend Your Excellency for getting the Edo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law amended, reviewed and not only that, for moving Edo State within one year from a State with VAPP law in review, to the model State when it comes to Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law. The effective implementation is highly commended.”
Responding to the award, Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki said “I am actually receiving this on behalf of all Governors Wives because we are in this together. At the time that we started this fight in June 2020, we had just about 14 States that had domesticated the VAPP Law.
“A year and half later, as we speak today we have about 32 States that have come to the point of domestication, some waiting for assent. This was all as a result of one attempt at cooperating to fight a common enemy. And this has changed the whole space of GBV in the country. It attests to the fact that once we resolve as a group to come together to tackle a problem, there is no limit to how successful we can become “.
In his remarks, the Country Representative of WFD, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, encouraged the Edo First Lady and everyone present at the Zoom meeting to use the Policy Brief “in such a way that our girls and our women can be sure that they have a community where their rights and their person is protected against all forms of violence”.
Those who attended the Zoom meeting include the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Philip Shaibu, his wife Maryann Shaibu and over 50 Civil Society Practitioners and government functionaries in Nigeria and overseas.
The WFD is a foundation, founded over thirty years ago in the UK and is working in over 40 countries across the globe including Nigeria to advance democracy and inclusive participation of citizens especially women, youth and persons with disabilities.