From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
A Kaduna-based non-governmental organisation, Speak4Life Cancer Prevention Initiative said it has directly empowered 300 girls and 50 women on sustainable livelihood in five Kaduna local government areas.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation at the sideline of the stakeholders’ engagement held at a hotel in Kaduna, Mrs. Munirat Badamosi told newsmen that, her organisation in partnership with Women for Women International engaging girls and women in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi, Chikun and Zaria local government areas of the state on issues that affect their survival.
“We are working in partnership with Women for Women International, the mother body funding this project which is current trends affecting women and girls under Women Peace and Security.
“What that means is that we are working in these pilot five LGAs on anything that will empower women, give them peace regardless of where they are.
“The programme is a continuum because we did not plan to stop it but to expand it to other local government areas in the state. Something that has to do with women cannot be halted.
“Last year alone, 500 girls benefited directly from our girls’ power project. For women empowerment, 50 women benefitted. From them, we now have mentors and mentees programme where the empowerment continues. We provide financial literacy, business support and restocking where applicable depending on their areas of interest.
“We distributed reusable sanitary towels last year. But, we have realised that even reusable sanitary towels cost money. So, we are teaching them how to make these reusable towels by themselves and even make a business out of them.
“Some of the challenges we faced included the myths about what feminism is all about. Many saw feminism as women going against men which is not correct. Feminism is all about creating a conducive environment for women and girls to participate equally in building the society of our dream.
“Fortunately, we have been able to overcome that barrier through the help of traditional and religious leaders in those communities where we are presently working.”, she said.
Earlier, the Founder of Speak4Life Cancer Prevention Initiative, Ms. Malextive Mimi Abeeikyaa remarked that “women and girls face many challenges in our society. The adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences of violence against women and girls affect women at all stages of their life.
“For example, early-set educational disadvantages not only represent the primary obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls, but down the line, they are also to blame for restricting access to higher education and even translate into limited opportunities for women in the labour market.
“It is up to us to support and protect them. We need to work together to create a safe and supportive environment for all women and girls. We also need to stand up against discrimination and violence against women and girls.
“We all can make a huge difference as we have a serious role to play in this as stakeholders of this great community”, she said.