Get empowered, guide against gender violence, group urges women

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WOMEN for Women International (WFWI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Wednesday, urged women at all levels of the society to get empowered and guide against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in every aspect of their daily and social lives.

The NGO equally urged women to work toward ensuring sound health for themselves so as to stand out and march-up with their male counterparts.

Mrs Bukola Onyishi, the Country Director of WFWI, made the call at a one-day strategic discussion with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Abuja.

Onyishi said that the meeting, which was in partnership with Women Rights Advancement Protection Alternative (WRAPA), was aimed at elevating the advocacy work carried out by change agents in communities.

She added that the meeting was also to identify areas of collaboration with National Civil Society Organisations to form strategic alliances.

She stressed that the intervention to work with change agents at the national level was to strengthen their abilities, create opportunities for action and inspire sustainable shift in both policy and practice.

She said the mandates of both WFWI and WRAPA were to ensure women were economically empowered, trained and given leadership skills to eliminate all forms of gender violence in the society.

The country director said “the problem of women in our society, especially at the grassroots is huge, we don’t try to solve every problem; rather, we invite like-minded organisations such as Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) to assist our indigent women.

“Women are also engaged in economic empowerment programmes and skill acquisition training to acquire knowledge to produce simple items that they can sell and earn a living from it.

“WFWI also engaged women in a conflict situation, whereby women and children are usually vulnerable, and part of what we do is to help women to rebuild their lives.”

Mrs Anisah Ari, the Director of Programmes, WRAPA, said change agents were trained and empowered to educate and enlighten other women in their various communities.

“The change agents were engaged in educating and enlightening women on their fundamental human rights, as a human being first before a woman.

“They were educating women and girls not to tolerate any form of violence or the threat of it, they educate women to speak up, break the circle and culture of silence.

“They were also educating women to aspire to be entrepreneurs to become self-reliant as research shows that one of the factors that reinforce violence is lack of financial independence.”

A participant and representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Nuhu Muazu, Head Development Finance Office, said the financial institution always encouraged women with soft loans to improve their lives.

Muazu said CBN had been at the forefront of promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to encourage women to grow their businesses.

He explained that “for our intervention funds, you can apply for a soft loan to promote your business, especially with the launch of our Agric Business Small and Medium Enterprise.

“These soft loans are low-interest rate and the time is given to payback is very long, compared to the normal commercial banks because these loans are for development purposes.” (NAN)

– Oct. 7, 2020 @ 15:35 GMT |

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