By Dipo Olowookere
The Lagos State Government, through the State Ministry for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has partnered the organisers of EWURO Project as part of efforts to further sensitize the public on the issue of violence against women, not only in the State, but in Nigeria as a whole.
Commissioner for Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Lola Akande, disclosed this during a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, saying the objectives of the Project aligned with the Ministry’s vision of continually engaging in productive conversations about the plight and welfare of women and also exploring ways of improving their wellbeing.
She explained that Ewuro Project was established in 2014 to highlight the anomaly and evoke public discourse on ways of eliminating violence and discrimination against women using the arts, music, drama and poetry to engage the audience and reawaken the minds of Nigerians to the true plight of the Nigerian woman.
According to her, “A survey conducted in Lagos State, in collaboration with UNICEF, shows a high prevalence of violence against children. Approximately 6 out of every 10 children experienced some form of violence while half of all children experience physical violence, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys experience sexual violence”.
“Also, the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) noted that domestic violence cuts across all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds as nearly 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical violence since age 15, and 1 in 4 married women experiences physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by the husband.”
The Commissioner observed that heavily grounded traditional beliefs about the female status and expectation is responsible for many cases of discrimination, persecution and violence against women in Nigeria, adding that a 2012 report says that most15-24 year old women interviewed in rural Nigeria think it is reasonable for a husband to beat his wife if she burns the food, refuses sex, or goes out without permission.
While commending the entire cast and crew of Ewuro Project Team for the initiative and prayed for a successful outing, Mrs Akande hinted that through the exploration of our mundane experiences mirrored by the lives of the characters, the EWURO Broadway exposes instances of violence against women.
“The EWURO story speaks to the aggressors and the victims alike, challenging the aggressors and empowering the victims. The EWURO message is delivered through the irresistible hybrid of drama, poetry, music and dance.”
Also speaking at the briefing, Tim Godfrey, Founder and Executive Producer of EWURO Project, thanked the State Government, particularly the Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation for the support and encouragement to his team, adding that the unflinching support of the present government has contributed immensely to the success of the initiative.