By: ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
As the 2019 elections gather momentum, a Kaduna-based NGO, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), has said that it will mobilise women to be actively involved in the elections.
According to it, if women leverage on their unique advantage in communities, the elections will count for them.
Safiya Garba, the Founder and Programme Director of the NGO, made the disclosure during the NGO’s Annual General Meeting and 10th Anniversary Celebration, in Kaduna.
“The measure is necessary to ensure that women play critical role in driving democracy.
“It is very disturbing that at the National Assembly, only nine out of the 109 Senators are women and only 27 out of the 360 members are women at the House of Representative.
“The situation is very disturbing at the state level as none of the 36 governors in the country is a woman , in spite of women constituting almost half of the country’s population.
“To change the tide, we intend to apply new approaches, strategies and leverage on unexploited avenues to enable women use their influence on networking, mobilisation and voting power effectively to ensure adequate participation,” she said.
Garba explained that EWEI was founded in 2008 to invest in human capital by providing girls and women the opportunities and resources to improve their welfare, professionalism and well-being.
She said that some of the the objectives of the NGO was to inspire girls and women to aim for excellence through capacity building and mentoring, as well as encourage girl child education.
“Our programmes are also designed to provide capacity on health, economic and social issues and encourage civic participation of girls and women in political processes.”
She said that over the last 10 years, the NGO, with support from partners, had delivered multi-sectoral interventions for the empowerment of girls and women.
According to her, as at the end of 2017, about 20,361 girls, boys and women benefitted from the NGO’s various empowerment programmes.
The programme director also said that the NGO would soon launch an online platform to empower more women on educational and professional opportunities.
Some of the beneficiaries thanked EWEI for the support, describing it as a “life saver.”
One of them, Jessica David said that EWEI empowered her educationally, socially and financially.
“My life has been transformed positively, I am now self reliant making my own money and supporting myself,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Mary Ayandokun said she has been equipped with life long skills that “helped in building my self esteem.”