Women’s Voices to Empower 25m

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A new non-governmental organisation, Women’s Voices for Advancement of Women in Nigeria, has berthed with a mission to empower women politically and economically.
The organisation which seeks to ensure that women are adequately represented in government, public offices and private sector is mobilising and engaging no fewer than 25 million women across the country.
Unveiling the NGO in Lagos, the Founder, Mrs Bernadette Oddiah-Ajila, noted that the organisation was committed to the political and economic emancipation of women in Nigeria having observed that the percentage of women in highly esteemed positions in both private and public sectors was not commensurate with the ratio of women in the country, while the few ones in power had not really performed to expectations.
Ajila, who has influenced a lot of developmental projects in the country by sourcing for foreign grants, stated that plans were ongoing to inaugurate state chapters of the organisation across the 36 states of the federation as part of efforts to realise its 25 million target before 2019 elections.
“We are determined to increase women’s participation in electioneering, governance, public service, to bring succour to women and young females through economic empowerment. We want to gain the confidence of Nigerian women on our platform from where we can engage and endorse women candidates who are reliable, competent and have good track records,” she said.
She added that the NGO is not party or government-affiliated and would strive as much as possible to remain neutral in order not to compromise its goal of realising a fulfilled Nigeria through competent and credible candidates that would be presented to the public from the platform.
“We want to raise true leaders who understand the plight of the masses, who are in touch with reality and would be ready to assist other women to grow economically or politically. Before we endorse any candidate, we will undergo a tough scrutiny of such a person, checking her background, antecedent and others,” she noted.
On economic empowerment, she explained that the NGO was working to partner with Nigerians in diaspora to initiate trade activities in the country.
“We intend to roll out different empowerment programmes. Basically, agricultural initiatives such as poultry, snail rearing, fishery and vocational skills which we can establish in small businesses.
We would go beyond training to equipping our women with tools and set them up in groups,” she explained.