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Groups demand proactive measures to end poverty among women

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By Ben Adoga

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, non-governmental organisations, NGOs, have called for a practical and proactive approach to reducing extreme poverty among women in Nigeria and Abuja specifically. 

The Helpline Foundation for the Needy in collaboration with Make a Difference for The Needy Foundation and the Association of Wives of Traditional Rulers in FCT, said it was time to move beyond the yearly talk shows to empower rural women, especially at a time when countries are battling to recover from the economic difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking at the end of a skill acquisition training organised for rural women, the founder of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the foundation chose to empower women with skills, in line with this year’s theme which is choose to challenge. 

“We just want to bring them together, to give them some skills, so that they can challenge themselves, and by the time we meet next time, we will be able to identify the specific things they have done as a result of us bringing them here. 

“We also want move beyond the yearly conferencing, to real empowerment. We have realised that talking is not enough, but what women can practically do that make them better, is what we should focus more on. That is why Helpline Foundation and its partners this year decided to go to the 17 chiefdoms in the FCT and parts of Niger and Nasarawa state to see how we can empower them with skills; ranging from disinfectant making, liquid soap making, shoes and bag making and even sesame seed (benniseed) cake making. These have been identified as great sources of revenue generation for these women in rural communities.” 

Ahmadu who noted that to start most of the businesses introduced to the women are less capital intensive, added that they are skills got that could be put to use to help them support their families. 

Speaking in the same vein, the Founder of Make A Difference for the Needy Foundation, Mrs. Maria Ogbonnaya-Ngwu, maintained that the essence of the programme was borne out of the belief that every woman has the potential to transform her life, regardless of her circumstances. 

Ogbonnaya-Ngwu observed that the era when the man was seen as the sole provider for his family was gone, noting that the financial burden on men could eventually lead to untimely death, if help is not coming from their partners. 

The wife of the Garki Chief, Hannatu Usman-Nga, who spoke on behalf of the wives of traditional rulers in FCT, thanked the Helpline Foundation for the Needy, for coming down to the grassroots to empower rural women. 

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