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Keep up with what is happening in Nigeria, throughout the region and around the world affecting the status of women’s rights, the empowerment of girls and progression of gender equality.

ICCN, NNEW seek gender equality, empowerment for women

Publisher: Guardian Published on: 07/03/2017
Graphic depicting a logo for gender equality.

Gender equality

The International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN) and NECA’S Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) have called for more involvement of women in all strata of the nation’s economy as well as within the decision-making bodies of government at various levels. Speaking in Lagos, NNEW President, Oyekunle Modupe, said the  theme for International Women’s Day 2017, “Be bold for change”, is intended to make us consider how to accelerate the 2030 agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new sustainable development goals, especially to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

She added: “It will also ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning and on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”.


Read more at Guardian

First Lady calls for empowerment of women, youths

Publisher: Pulse Published on: 01/03/2017
Photo of Aisha Buhari

Mrs Toyin Saraki welcomes First Lady, Aisha Buhari at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on February 11, 2017. (Banks Omishore)

During a visit by governors’ wives to the State House in Abuja to brief on the progress made in efforts to tackle drug addiction in Northern Nigeria, the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, urged Northern State Governors’ Wives to consider the empowerment of women and youths, stressing that this is the best way to eradicate the increasing rate of drug addiction in the north.

Buhari said she intended to use her pet project, `Future Assured’’, to rehabilitate and empower  victims of drug abuse by using some existing structures as rehabilitation centres. Buhari told the governors wives that “I think in your next agenda you should consider training as your priority; it is not easy to deal with drug abuse but we need to empower the parents. By doing so, I think it will reduce the chances of having so many drug addict children because the parents will be financially independent to take care of the children.”

Read more at Pulse

‘A lot of women do not know their rights’

Publisher: Guardian Published on: 28/02/2017
Photo of Prof. Epiphany Azinge

Prof. Epiphany Azinge

Dr. Valeri-Janette Azinge, recently conferred with the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has decried the growing fear of violence women face in Nigeria,  and has tasked the government to commit to a human rights awareness campaign on the subject. According to her, Nigeria has lots of laws even though there are some lacuna here and there, to fight violence against women. She noted however that there is lack of information in the public domain for women to utilize.

Azinge said: “I subscribe to the fact that civil society organisations should wake up more on their advocacy on the rights of the women and children, and there should also be centres where they can easily run to for succour. I do not think that what the social welfare is doing is enough. We need more centres in every locality so that more cases can easily be reported for prosecution or assistance as the case may be.

Read more at Guardian

Hope for Pregnant Women in Nigeria

Publisher: This Day Live Published on: 24/02/2017
Photo of three pregnant women

Pregnant women

52,000 Nigerian women die yearly due to pregnancy complications, delivery or post delivery complications, amounting to about 143 women dying in the country on a daily basis, according to a report by the United States government in 2016. This makes Nigeria one of the worst places in the globe to give birth, alongside India.

It is in tackling this and changing the country’s narrative over maternal indices that the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, has called for collaborative efforts toward tackling the issue head on through the government, citizens, well meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations. According to her, “no woman deserves to die during childbirth, as the process itself should be a source of happiness and not sadness to the society. With the establishment of quality healthcare facilities and the citizens’ willingness to patronise them, the maternal and newborn health indices will greatly improve.

Read more at This Day Live

GEMS Initiative and Google I-Woman Certification Training

Publisher: GEMS Published on: 24/02/2017

The long-awaited and widely publicized I-Woman (Innovative Woman) free ICT training with theme “Bridging the Gender Digital Divide” organized by GEMS Initiative, an initiative that seeks to bridge the gap of inequality in education and opportunities for all, and supported by GOOGLE Nigeria, was held successfully on Friday, 17th February, 2017. This project constructively targeted at young female entrepreneurs, self-employed ladies, freelancers and business owners and aimed at equipping young African women with useful technological knowledge to improve their businesses

The training which held at the National Centre for Women Development, Central Business District, Abuja, saw about over 100 girls, ladies and women in attendance.  The training session was moderated by Victor Akoyibo, Project Coordinator and assisted by Umeakunne Lilian Chinelo, Communications Assistant. Going by interviews conducted and views of participants taken, the training was reported to be worth their time, eye-opening and quite useful and commendable. They promised to implement lessons learnt from the training in their businesses and careers in order to become wealth creators and able employers of labor, using ICT to drive their market. So far, the initiative has positively impacted the lives of over 1000 children and over 200 women in Nigeria and still impacting.


Read more at GEMS

Emir of Kano faults disparity between men and women in Nigeria

Publisher: Vanguard Published on: 20/02/2017
Photo of Ag Pres Osinbajo

Ag Pres Osinbajo

Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said Nigeria was in dire need of new tribe of men and women with integrity and honesty for rapid economic and political development of the country. He said that it was only with such people the country could be taken to lofty heights. Osinbajo spoke while paying tributes to former Nigeria High Commissioner to Ghana, late Ambassador Isa Wali, at the 50th anniversary of his demise organized by Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, IWEI, at Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

He said: “Our nation is in need of people who stand for human values, those who believe in trust-worthiness, integrity, honesty and hard work. We need to have those values and emphasize them because these are values that build nations around the world. I have spoken about a new tribe of Nigerians who believe in hard work. Our nation needs more of visionary men and women that are ready to put the nation ahead of themselves.” Also speaking, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, in whose regime Wali served, said what stood Wali out was his push for girl-child education.



Read more at Vanguard

Southern Nigerian governors’ wives meet in Umuahia

Publisher: Premium TImes Published on: 17/02/2017
Photo of Nkechi Ikpeazu - Wife of Abia State Governor

Nkechi Ikpeazu – Wife of Abia State Governor

The fourth edition of the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum opened in Umuahia, the Abia capital on Thursday, with 11 members in attendance from Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Cross River, Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states. In her speech, the chairperson of the forum, Nkechinyere Okorocha, said the forum was established to address issues concerning the health and empowerment of women, and was the brainchild of First Lady Aisha Buhari.

In an address of welcome, the host and wife of Abia Governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu, said the purpose of the gathering was to empower women in the state.“The women who are benefitting today were meticulously selected in such a way to ensure that they are capable of using the items to eke out a living for themselves. It is my expectation that over time, this set of beneficiaries would become self-sustaining.” Topics discussed ranged from Cancer to negative widowhood practices, education, training and protection of the girl-child against abuse.

Read more at Premium TImes

Training coming for Abia rural women

Publisher: The Nation Published on: 17/02/2017
Photo of Prof. Nkechi Agwu

Prof. Nkechi Agwu

Prof. Nkechi Agwu, a professor of Mathematics who hails from Alayi in Abia State and teaches at Bronx College, New York City in the United States of America, is bringing in a three-woman delegation led by Bishop Ebony Kirkland and leader of Worldwide Association of Churches to train rural women in the state.

Agwu said that the delegation, which will be visiting Africa and Nigeria for the first time, will also be seeking ways to ensure that women at the rural level will be taught things that will make life easier for them especially the widows, the girl-child and women who are looking for things to do for themselves. She added that, “the delegation will also visit the Abia State University (ABSU) to look at a solar energy which was built by a Rev Sister and we will see how we can partner with her on the way forward”.

Read more at The Nation

Yobe lawmaker engages 2,400 women, youths

Publisher: The Guardian Published on: 14/02/2017

skills acquisition. PHOTO:

Over 2, 400 women and youths from Yobe State have been slated to benefit from the constituency empowerment projects of Hon. Sidi Karasuwa, representing the Nguru/Karasuwa/Machina/Yufuri federal constituency in the state. Karasuwa disclosed this recently in Damaturu, the state capital, while speaking on the rising unemployment and poverty in the constituency he represents at the National Assembly.

“No fewer than 2, 000 youths from this federal constituency will also be trained for entrepreneurship skills acquisition to enable them become self-reliant and create jobs for others,” he said, adding that oxen, ploughs and carts have already been procured for distribution. He also explained that a total of 80 boreholes would be drilled across the four local councils, adding “The project when completed will mitigate the perennial water problem of the area”.

Read more at The Guardian

Women Empowerment Driving Change In Nigerian Communities

Publisher: Published on: 12/02/2017
A photo of Hadiza

Hadiza. Photo credit: Corinna Robbins/Mercy Corps

For many women in Nigeria, entrepreneurship is their passport to ensuring a better future for themselves and their families. Mastercard and Mercy Corps are working together in Nigeria to educate young women on financial literacy and entrepreneurship by providing them with the necessary training to start their own business. To date, the programme has resulted in many stories of success and inspiration, such as Hadiza, who was given the opportunity to learn how to sew and is currently training to become a tailor.

Through the Accelerating Savings and Strengthening Entrepreneurship Training and Skills (ASSETS) programme, these young women are automatically registered to receive a National eID (NeID) card which recognises them as citizens, and serves as a form of identification as well as enables electronic payments, which offer access to a wide range of financial tools and services. So far, over 6,000 girls from across Mercy Corps programs have been registered for the multi-functional eID, with the goal of reaching 18,000 in the near future.