By Azuka Ogujiuba
To Sunlight Nigeria, women empowerment is expressed through programmes and initiatives that are focused on improving the lives and wellbeing of women.
Women empowerment are programmes and initiatives that serve as means of helping women with the right tools needed to take their destiny into their own hands; enabling their participation in economic decision-making.
Empowerment of women is necessary for the development of a community, since it enhances both the quality and the quantity of human resources available for development. This year, Sunlight has shared this vision through various programmes that are helping women develop life skills, own a trade and also showcase their crafts to the world through an already established platform. Below are a complete timeline of Sunlight programmes, initiatives and events around women empowerment for this year:
International Women’s Day Celebration 2019:
This years’ international women’s day was themed #BalanceforBetter, which is a bid to create a gender balanced world. Sunlight Nigeria understands that a balanced world is a better world. This year, women at major bus parks in Nigeria were celebrated with a surprise visit from the Sunlight Nigeria refunding their fares and bearing gifts in goody bags.
Sunlight SHERO – Mother’s Day
The 2019 Sunlight Shero campaign celebrated the resilience and strength of single moms in the society. Aimed at breaking the stereotype and helping the community see that being a single mum is as a result of multiple factors. Nigerians nominated single mothers, three of whom won much needed home makeovers because after a hard day’s job, every mother deserves to come home to some convenience.
The Shakti Programme, Empowering over 3000 Women:
The Unilever Shakti initiative is creating an inclusive society by providing business training and funding; thus improving livelihoods, to women in rural areas. The initiative provides women in rural areas with Unilever products and capital. These products are simultaneously empowering these women to start and own their own businesses and expanding Unilever distribution into uncharted areas of rural Nigeria.
The initiative has 3,000 Shakti women with earnings growth of up to 400% and who have contributed 1.8 million Euros to Unilever business turnover since inception.
Sunlight Fashion Focus Fund 2019:
Sunlight in collaboration with Style House Files, the conveners of the Lagos Fashion Week, through the Fashion Focus Fund, this year, is empowering women through fashion.
In April, two Nigerian fashion designers who are Alumnae of the Fashion Focus Fund; Chechi Arinze and Titi Belo, benefitted from Sunlight’s initiative to support young female entrepreneurs. They both received N2, 000, 000 each to support their businesses. They were chosen for their passion to make an impact and to empower others, both of which align with Sunlight’s mission.
The Fashion Focus Talks:
Sunlight is an official co-sponsor of Lagos Fashion Week’s 2019 edition of the Fashion Focus Talks. In this year’s Fashion Focus Talks in Lagos, Sunlight sponsored Mai Atafo, a renowned Fashion Designer and Creative Director of Mai Atafo to speak on ‘Beyond Creativity’, the official theme of this year’s talks. Mai Atafo was invited to educate young talents in the industry on how to excel beyond creativity. The event at the Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi.
The Sunlight Collection:
Sunlight partnered two womenswear brands VATHISWA and ZURIZOLA , run by Morenikeji Akinsola and Chibuzor Emordi to create The Sunlight Collection.
The Sunlight Collection is inspired by the Sunlight Woman; a fun loving optimist, who always sees the cup as half full.
In creating the collection, Sunlight also partnered five Female entrepreneurs; Olabunmi Aboderin-Talabi, founding publisher of Clever Clogs Books, Bolaji Ayinde-Sekoni creative director Nouva Couture, Ifeoma Okoye, Founder of PaintedNails NG and Ex-beauty Queen, Bella Rose Okojie Morning Show Host at City 105.1FM and Tech entrepreneur, and Nelly Agbogu, Founder Naija Brand Chick and Nellies Nigeria.
These women shared how they are empowering women in their different careers and also, how their goals are closely aligned with Sunlight empowerment programmes. The collection will be available at the Lagos Fashion Week 2019.