Ogun govt organizes beauty pageant to campaign against rape, gender-based violence
Ogun State Government has launched a beauty pageant competition across the state to campaign against rising rape and gender-based violence cases.
The government explained that statistics of rape and other gender-based violence cases in Nigeria indicated that, one out of ten girls is either abused or be a survivor of gender-based violence.
At a press briefing to herald the beauty pageant, the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Oluwatoyin Taiwo, said the the pageant was a collaboration project between the government and 17 Goals Agenda for Empowerment Foundation and Hearken Consistency Media and Entertainment Limited.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Olaotan Olusegun, Taiwo said, “this pageant focuses on empowering our young women and addressing gender violence and rape in our society.
“It is unique and not the usual pageant where we see our young girls walk on stage in manners not in constant with our culture.
“This pageant will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the good people of Ogun State and promote her investment opportunities. It offers early exposure of our youths to Ambassadorial positions and responsibilities.
“The proposal had specific relevance to the needs of our teeming youths especially at the grassroots cutting across the 20 local government areas of Ogun State and not leaving anyone behind”.
The State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, who was represented by the Director of Empowerment Affairs in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Bonuola Kazeem, assured that the pageant would help victims of gender-based violence to overcome emotional trauma.
He said, “a lot of our girls have been abused and molested. A culture of silence and resilience is predominant in our society. The cancaworm has eaten deep that everybody is assumed to be a perpetrator. One in ten girls or women would have one time or another been abused or be a survivor of gender-based violence.
“With this year’s theme, gender-based violence and rape against women in our society, I believed is one of the ways by which the culture of silence can be broken.
“With this competition, I believe it will be the biggest ever competition because I am giving the word of the honourable commissioner, we are going to all the 20 local governments to encourage our young women within reproductive age and rise to come out and participate in this competition”.