The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has urged the women to be proactive in overcoming sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and other challenges facing them in the country.
The CEO NWTF Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi made the call on Friday at the virtual close-out meeting of the National Institute for Leadership and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’ (NILEVAWG) six-month mentorship programme 2022.
- Women enlightened on menstruation, vaginal hygiene in Jos
- ‘Lack of accessibility to financial services hinders women economic empowerment’
According to her, women’s voices and leadership over the years have been limited due to multiple barriers which include violence against women, sexual violence, lack of opportunities in decision making, unequal gender relations to mention a few.
“However, violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights’ violations,” Fijabi said.
The organisation, during the mentorship, trained 100 women on leadership and ending violence against women and girls across the country.
The young women who passed out from the NILEVAWG mentorship programme were draw from 36 states in Nigeria and the FCT.
Ms. Fijabi said that the set of graduands are pioneers of NILEVAWG after the successful implementation of Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG) project in eight states in the past.
“This initiative supported by Ford Foundation was sequel to the successful completion of similar but distinct project called Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Phase I and II in eight states – Adamawa, Cross River, FCT, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Rivers, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Ekiti.
“This brought the idea of instilling leadership skills in women and girls across the country. Hence, the National Institute for Leadership and Ending Violence against Women and Girls (NILEVAWG),” she said.
Also, Chair of the Advisory Board NWTF, Amina Salihu, said, “Mentoring of this nature is always trans generational as learning are cross fertilized between the mentees and mentors. We are trade marking this to expand the pool of women and girls that can step in as leaders in this field.”
One of the mentors Hajia Bilkiss Oladimeji said, “My mentors have been very wonderful. We appreciate the opportunity to serve. Although, mentees are looking for sponsorship to implement their various project ideas, we hope that they will continue to be great leaders of our nation.”
One of the mentees in Abuja Tukura Caroline said the mentorship programme has helped her in impacting on her community by mobilizing against human trafficking and mutual partners violence against women.
Another mentee in Plateau State, Joy Haa said, the mentorship program helped to build the team spirit in her and also helps in collaborating with other mentees to carry out these activities.
She said, “We have been able to build the self-esteem of women in our communities. We carried out a project in some communities in Plateau state tagged ‘Project Unmute’ and the responses we got from the participants through the questionnaires shows that many of them have been abused through unwanted sexual harassment but these cases were not reported because they were afraid; and some didn’t think it was harassment.”