Depression, Leading Cause of Disease-Related Disability in Women, Experts Say


– As LWI launches MoAdV to tackle domestic violence

Pharm.(Mrs) Bisi Bright

A mental health expert, Dr Olajumoke Koyejo, has raised the alarm on rising cases of depression among women, saying it is a silent contributor to disease-related disability.

The expert spoke at the recent inauguration of Mothers Against Domestic Violence (MoAdV), a group founded by the LiveWell Initiative (LWI) to stem the rising spate of domestic violence in the country.

Speaking on the topic, “Towards Emotional Stability in Marriage”, Koyejo noted that studies have shown that married women are mostly at the receiving end when it comes to depression, stressing that saying being married comes with a high risk for common mental disorder in women.

While advising women to be mindful of their marital life, the consultant psychiatrist further noted that while marriage is important in life, women must strive to keep their self-worth, improve their self-worth and understand the limitations of their partners as humans.

Also speaking at the Inauguration, Pharm. Bisi Bright, convener of MoAdV and chief executive officer, LWI, said the founding of the group was a reaction to the alarming rise in cases of domestic violence in the country.

Bright, who revealed that the recent passing of the popular gospel artiste, Osinachi, further motivated the launch of the initiative, saying that that the next pandemic, after COVID-19, is domestic violence, and must be stopped at all cost.

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Giving more details about MoAdV, the clinical pharmacist, public health practitioner, social entrepreneur, researcher and lecturer said, “At MoAdV, domestic violence is our business and we must mind it and guard against our women from the muscle-flexing monsters out there.

“The project has been on the table for a while, and it is important because the next pandemic would be domestic violence if care is not taken. LWI was deliberate in starting the trend, so we call on others out there to come and join us in other to prevent the next pandemic.”

Presenting her keynote address, Mrs Adeola Azeez, lawyer, social entrepreneur, and co-founder of Women in Business Administration and Politics (WIMBIZ) cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) which defines domestic violence as a range of sexually, psychologically and physically coercive acts against women by current or former male intimate partners, adding that the United Nations defined it as a pattern of behaviour in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Azeez disclosed that in recent times Nigeria has recorded a surge in cases of domestic violence. Quoting the result of a poll conducted by NOIPoll Limited and Project Alert, she disclosed that 54 per cent of Nigerians have either suffered from some form of domestic violence or know someone who has suffered from it.

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She further said that the NOIPoll report also stated that 75 per cent of the victims are women, while men and children were placed at 16 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

“In another report by the World Health Organisation, it was stated that in some parts of the world, one-half of women have experienced domestic violence,” she added.

Azeez, who doubles as the matron of MoAdV, also emphasise that parents have a major responsibility to ensure that they raise children that will not continue the cycle of abuse, adding that the society suffers from the effect of failed parenting, hence, the need to take parenting responsibilities seriously.

She said, “How many more lives do we have to lose before we all fight vehemently against this? Do we sit still and watch our precious sisters, wives, mothers, aunties, and friends suffer without lending a helping hand? We cannot act like it’s none of our business. It is our business and we must mind it.”

She continued, “Posterity will remember the LiveWell Initiative for bringing this issue to the fore. It will also remember us for the role we play to put an end to domestic violence in Nigeria. Together, let’s join hands with LiveWell Initiative to put an end to domestic violence and make our society a better and safer place for women.”

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Speaking in the same vein, the duo of Mrs Bimpe Balogun, chairman, Audit Committee of Zenith Bank Plc and financial hygiene expert; and Mrs Bolade Awosan, a therapist and counsellor, noted that the challenge of saying “no” is squarely up to women, adding that violence against women in Nigeria is almost accepted as a fact of life in some cultures that perceive women as the property of their husbands.

According to the duo, wife beaters are monsters that must be stopped at all cost, emphasising the importance of financial hygiene for women, and reiterating the need for every woman to have savings for a rainy day.

The highpoint of the programme was the appointment of officers for MoADV. They are Dr Jumoke Koyejo, clinical director; Mrs Tosin Adeosun, operations manager; Mrs Jonathan Adinya, coordinator, North; Mrs Favour Chukwumam, coordinator, South; Mrs Sandra Patrick, physical therapy coach; Pharm. Bisi Bright, convener; and Mrs Adeola Azeez, matron.




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