Violence against women highlighted at Annette Oke’s Investiture as president of Ikeja Soroptimist
The call for action on violence against women was again emphasised as friends, well-wishers and club members recently trooped out in large numbers to honour one of their own during the change of insignia and investiture ceremony of Annette Oke as 18th president of Soroptimist International of Ikeja, at the Business Club Ikeja, Lagos.
In an address read by the representative of the wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs. Ronke Solomon, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode said she was excited to be in the midst of these eminent women of philanthropists who have remained the pride of women throughout the world. The organization, she noted, “has contributed in no small measure to uplift fellow women and girls even in the smallest countries of the world. Like other such great humanitarian organizations, they have continued to use their expansive global network, to positively impact the lives of women and girls, leaving indelible imprint in all areas of their lives. Its effort cannot be over-emphasized.”
Speaking on Domestic Violence against Women, guest speaker and publisher of Working Mom Magazine, Mrs. Mary Ikokwu, said it was high time all hands are on deck to erase this danger against women. According to her, violence goes beyond physical, as there are unseen abuses such as psychological and emotional abuses that destroy self-esteem of the person involved.
She said the World Health Organisation (WHO) records says two in every five women have experienced all forms of abuse in her lifetime.
Enumerating eight points that make you realize that you are going to through abuse, which cuts across women of all ages. Ikokwu pointed out that this occurs when women are being degraded by their partners, when you are being blamed for everything that goes wrong, when a woman is treated like a piece of furniture, when you are forced to put your partner’s needs before yours, this is a wrong premise because a stressed out woman will raise a stressed family. Therefore, women need a comfortable home to exist.
Speaking further, she said the abusive nature exists when a woman is never celebrated on her birthday, wedding anniversary and so on, or when she believes she is losing it, or doesn’t have any control about anything that happens in her life, and finally, when you are always afraid to confide in your partner.
“The scars these abuses have on women go from generation to generation. When one in three children are married out as a child bride, women are sold into slavery as either sex slave or labourer, this is time for action,” she stressed.
“If you know any women going through violence, rise and help solve the problem because every women deserves honour and respect,” she concluded.
While commending the club for their commitment and passion by giving out their time to help the needy especially those who don’t have a voice, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Bamidele Mafimidiwo, said the network of these great women’s effort in impacting lives through dedication and time cannot be overemphasized. He congratulated the new president whom he knows has the tenacity as a hardworking woman who will deliver.
In her acceptance speech, the newly installed president, Annette Oke, thanked her members for their support. Recalling how her mother died of cervical cancer and watched how she fought till the end, she said she quickly realized her desire to serve others to seek a way in which she could feed that urge to always help humanity since she relocated from United Kingdom to Nigeria in 2010. Although the main focus of the club is to advance the status of women, girl child and children with its theme: Enable, Empower ad Educate, Oke promised to focus on these over the next two years of her tenure.
Soliciting the support of her members in kind and cash, Oke said without a kind hearted support, it will not be possible to raise over N5million needed for the forthcoming lifesaving works to help eradicate poverty, educate, provide healthcare, and most importantly assist to help resolve sexual violence and rape against women.