Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)
The Ogun state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Service in partnership with the Peace Initiative Network on Thursday, empowered women and youths across the state.
Speaking during the empowerment programme held at the old Ministry of Women Affairs, Oke-Ilewo axis of Abeokuta, the Director of Women Affairs and Social Services, Mrs. Wonuola Kazeem, said the project is born from the need to ensure peace and sustainability in communities.
Kareem emphasized that the empowerment programme is also a strategy to eradicate gender-based violence by empowering women and youths to be financially stable.
She added that the Peace Initiative Network partnered with the Ministry to support the government in human capacity building across the state by equipping them with the necessary skills and equipment to facilitate the proper use of the acquired skills.
She said, “We have trained over 536 students for 2020 batch A in our center and saw that the government alone could not empower all the students.
“So, we reached out to people like Dr. Sodipo, since his organization empowers old women and youths. This is to empower these set of people that the Ministry had already trained and built their capacity theoretically and practically.
“So, he agreed to kick start the partnership with 21 beneficiaries. This is the first time they are partnering with Women Affairs but they have done a lot at the community level. They have partnered with traditional rulers in the state.
“Our findings revealed that a lot of women endured abusive relationships due to lack of empowerment, So this program is set to make them financially independent.
“We are raising champions in different communities to pressure peace in their various communities and reduce domestic violence.”
Speaking at the event, the project coordinator, Peace Initiative Network, a Nongovernmental organization based in Kano, Dr. Femi Sodipo, said the project was born from the need to build peace and resilience through Women and Youth empowerment.
“We are here to empower youths and women trained by the Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs.
“As we know that a hungry person, either man or woman, is an angry person. So, what we do mainly is to help to support young people to keep them away from the street and be meaningfully engaged. It is when they are meaningfully engaged that they can contribute to peace in the communities.
“When you train a woman it is equivalent to you supporting a whole village. When women are empowered there will be peace in our communities.
“When women are trained and empowered, it reduces their stress and conflicts. Over the years, we have observed that if men are empowered, they contribute more to family life and in return reduce violence as they become financially independent. And that is why we are doing this to help women and young people to strengthen them to become self-sustained and reliant to help both their families and community cities.
“We are here in the Southwest and we are starting from Ogun state. We’ve been doing this in Ogun state for two years now and we are looking forward to reaching out to more communities in the state. Hopefully, from the Abeokuta zone to other parts of the state.”
Speaking about the criteria for the selection of beneficiaries, Sodipo said, “we select the beneficiaries based on their needs and skills acquired. This programme is not a one off programme, we continuously monitor their progress. After a while, we pay for shop rent for those who need it and empowerment more.
“Today, we have empowered 271 women in Ogun. We have empowered fashion designers, caterers, Hairdressing, and Traders.”
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