The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) has commenced a three -day capacity building workshop for qualified young women on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Nigeria under the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG II) project supported by Ford Foundation. The three-day capacity building workshop which took place in Port Harcourt Rivers State is the first of the four capacity building workshops scheduled to hold in Kebbi, Ebonyi and Ekiti States under the EVAWG II. The workshop which took place on 12-14 October 2021 provided the platform for fifty (50) young female feminists to learn and gain new knowledge on rights-based approaches and other practical frameworks that effectively integrate women’s human rights and dignity into gender equality processes in Nigeria through mentorship.
In a welcome address to the participants by the Chief Executive Officer of NWTF – Ms. Mufuliat Fijabi, she stated that violence against women and girls is a prevalent human rights violation and a major hindrance to the advancement of women’s rights and a threat to the inclusion of women in governance and in all development spheres. She added that inspite of this great challenge, it is gratifying that there are young and committed women who are ready to subject themselves to capacity development to enhance their ability to raise their voices, network and advocate for a complete end to violence against women and girls. Ms. Fijabi reiterate that the program was initiated due to a genuine interest to sustain activism and leadership which aligns with the passion of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) to transform power relations between men and women to ensure the inclusive participation of women and girls in Nigeria’s development and democratic process.
“I encourage you all to sustain the interest in learning, activism and be deliberate in developing your leadership skills and build your confidence towards emerging as transformational leaders” Ms. Fijabi urged. She concluded by appreciating selected mentors who generously obliged to be part of the program and the Ford Foundation, West Africa for the support.
Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, West Africa, reiterated Ford Foundation’s commitment towards tackling gender-based violence as he urged the mentees to leverage on the mentorship program to build their capacity and become change agent in tackling issues of gender-based violence in their communities, state and the nation at large.
The three-day workshop concluded with a mentor-mentee session, where mentorship action plans on key elements and issues around violence against women and girls, potential barriers, risks, and mitigation strategy were jointly designed by mentors and mentees. The workshop will be followed by a six-month mentorship process in Rivers State.