JTAH Foundation Holds National Conference for Women, Girl Child Empowerment

Furthering its course of promoting the welfare and interest of women and the girl child in Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, Jashabel Touch-A-Heart Foundation (JTAH Foundation), recently held its Annual National Women and Girl Child Stakeholder Conference in Lagos.

Attracting stakeholders from various corporate organisations, government parastatals, as well as traditional rulers, the conference was themed ‘Westernisation, Education, Culture and Religion: The Effect on Today’s Family’.

According to the convener, Executive Director, JTAH Foundation, Favour Benson, the theme is a call-to-action and cultural reawakening for families to understand and solve the contemporary issues women and girls suffer.

“Culture didn’t erode our value system. I think it’s the parents. Some children between the ages of 10 and 14 years can’t speak their language, they don’t know their village. This presents a disconnect, and that’s where culture comes in.

“These days, you can’t question a child without the mother or father coming the next day to say, ‘who made you my child’s teacher?’ It is sickening because that was not how we were brought up. There is a lack of discipline stemming from abandoning our culture. We have to connect our culture with whatever we are doing to make us who we really are,” she added.

Delivering the keynote, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, elucidated strategic models that could be adopted towards empowering women and the girl child.

Some of the highlights from her keynote included the adoption of community parenting styles, seeking mental health support and sex education, promoting cultural norms and supervising the use of social media tools.

“If we train a child, especially a girl child through a proper upbringing that entails discipline, proper care, we are building a better world for ourselves,” Akinbile-Yussuf noted.

“The way our parents trained us, what most would call the ‘crude’ method, is not the way we are training our children. We let our culture be harmed and everything has become westernised. There is a difference between discipline and abuse. The only thing we owe our children is love, let us discipline them.”

Established in 2000, the foundation which prides itself as a haven for women and girls in need, also launched Touch magazine that features some of its past projects and elaborated plans to kickstart future ones, all geared towards female empowerment in various capacities.

Additionally, the conference coincided with Benson’s golden jubilee celebration. She was honoured by close family and friends, colleagues and partners for her contributions to the indigents in society.

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