The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, has reiterated the State Government’s commitment to ensuring that women are protected from the negative effects of violence against them in society.
Dada promised that the State will not relent in its efforts to put in place policies and programmes aimed at creating a sustainable environment for women to achieve their full potential in Lagos State, while continuing to mobilise all public enlightenment apparatus and sensitisation programmes to educate everyone on the need to put an end to gender-based violence.
She disclosed this at a sensitisation programme for women on depression, tagged “Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health: A Call to Action”, organised by the Domestic Violence Unit of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalensanwo, revealed that it is now generally recognised that domestic violence and abuse is associated with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.
“For us as a Ministry, we have carried out extensive research on this issue and findings reveal that domestic violence is a major cause of depression among women. When women suffer physical, financial, verbal or emotional violence or any other type of violence for that matter, they easily fall into depression”, she added.
Dada averred that the workshop was put in place to encourage women on ways to protect themselves from all forms of depression and live a more productive life, saying “We have organised this programme and invited a consultant psychiatrist and dietitian to speak with you and help you unlearn so many negative beliefs you may have as regards mental health”.
She urged women, who are unemployed to take advantage of the many vocational centres across the State, to learn a profession in order to be self-dependent and economically occupied, stressing that the State Government has 18 Skills Acquisition Centres in the five divisions.
Emphasising that all the available training programmes at the various centres are tuition-free, and participants of the short term training are usually given start-up packs to enable them commence business immediately, Kalensanwo advised women to learn the symptoms of all forms of mental health, particularly depression, as they are not easily recognisable.