The United Nations (UN) organ working for the empowerment of women, also known as UN Women, has pledged support to Edo State Government’s policies aimed at protecting women and girls as well as strategies deployed by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in curbing human trafficking.
Country Representative for Nigeria, UN Women, Comfort Lamptey, said this during a courtesy visit to the governor at Government House in Benin City.
Lamptey said the domestication of the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law by Edo State Government is commendable and a right step in protecting women and girls in the state.
She said the UN organ is working with the Italian Government to ensure that policies to protect women and girls are implemented in Nigeria, especially as the country is addressing the challenge of human trafficking.
According to her, the partnership with the state government is aimed at ensuring women organisations involved in the fight against trafficking of women and girls are strengthened and supported with relevant leadership skills so they can better interface with relevant agencies.
She said UN Women would also engage men and traditional rulers in the state to drive gender equality, noting: “Our collaboration is to support policy review, formulation and capacity building. We are ready to dialogue with Civil Society Organisations and NGOs to see how our small intervention can add value to the ongoing work in the state.”
In his response, Governor Obaseki said the UN Women’s partnership with the state government on policy implementation and capacity building is needed as his administration is executing policies against human trafficking.
He explained that the state government has put in place policies and programmes as it relates to gender equality, adding that what needs to be done is the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the policies.
“We have done a review of the policies and programmes that have to do with women across our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) so that we can streamline them. We are now undertaking enumeration of businesses owned by women across the state to develop database for them. The next stage for us is to focus on areas where girls are prone to trafficking and address the issue at that level.
He added that the state is working on several initiatives to curb human trafficking.