Action Aid Nigeria has called on traditional and religious leaders to support the participation of women in the society towards a collective effort to make the society better.
The WVL Project Coordinator for the North, Niri Goyit, said such support will help put an end to the fallacious cultural and religious beliefs that stand as major hindrances confronting the organisation in sensitizing and empowering women in the society.
Goyit spoke in Ilorin, when the team met with the 12 community based organizations and 3 women rights working organizations who are Women Voice and Leadership Project (WVL) partners in Kwara State.
The WVL is a project implemented by Action Aid Nigeria with support and funding from the Global Affairs Canada to strengthen Women Right Organisations by giving them capacity building and funding so that they can intensify efforts and expand the campaign on women rights in Nigeria.
Goyit emphasised that “the challenges that this project has faced can be attributed largely to culture and religion.
“Our cultural and religious beliefs tend to promote the narrative that women should not participate in leadership duties and that women rights should not be upheld.
“We need more religious and traditional rulers to be sensitized and aware that women’s participation is not just for the benefit of women, but for the benefit of the society.
“Women have a perspective to development that would compliment that of the men. Male perspective is good, female perspective is also good. So, we need both genders to be able to promote societal development.”
She lauded the state-level women rights organizations and Community Based Organisations involved in the WVL project in Kwara for their steadfastness so far and for helping to make a mark in Kwara State since the inception of the project in 2019.
According to Goyit, the project has achieved a lot in Kwara State since its inception in 2019.
“We started the project in 2019 and our work have been so successful.
“More women are economically independent, we have seen women giving capital to start business, some women have been sensitized on capacity building on political participation and Leadership.
“In fact, some of them are ready to compete in the 2023 election.”
In her remark, the Commissioner for Women and Social Development, Mrs Deborah Abosede Aremu, also showered encomium on ActionAid and the WVL partners in Kwara State for working harmoniously with the ministry and helping Kwara Government achieve its agenda.
While noting that the lives and livelihood of women folk have advanced since the start of the project, Aremu who was represented by the Director of Child Affairs, Mrs Mariam Yusuf, said Kwara women with the project are now more empowered, more sensitized, their rights protected while many are ready to actively participate in leadership.
“My appreciation goes to Action Aid and the Organizations that are working with the Ministry.
“We want to appreciate you for the wonderful work you are doing in terms of training our officers. Action Aid, we thank you for supporting the CEOs who have been working with the Ministry.
“Before the coming of WVL, we know where we were, but when you came on board, with nothing, you have been able to build something for us,” she said.