An NGO, Women for Women International (WFWI) says it has trained over 5,200 grassroots women on promoting girl-child and ending violence against women and girls in communities.
The Country Director, WFWI, Ms Bukola Onyishi, said this in Abuja on the sideline of a one-day strategic meeting to develop action plan on priority actions for its Change Agents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was held in collaboration with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA).
Onyishi said the grassroots women, also known as Change Agents were trained in batches for 12 months.
She said that the women were trained under the organisation’s five years project with the support from Netherlands government, under the Funding Leadership and Opportunity for Women.
She said that they were trained to identify problems in their communities, sensitise the people, engage with decision makers as well as power holders in bringing a change and ensure implementation of gender responsive laws and policies.
“These they have done and they put plans into action. At the community level, they have issues like rape in communities, inheritance problems, education for the girl child and others.
“It is important that their voices were heard or amplified at both the state and national levels, and engaged with their legislators for people to know their pain at the grassroots level,” she said.
Onyishi, said though the project would end in 2020, the women were expected to sustain it by continuing to amplify their voices on issues affecting women and girls in their communities so as to bring an end to negative vices.
She appealed to relevant stakeholders to support the women to be able to continue with the projects in order to be able to bring about positive and impactful changes in the communities.
Also speaking, the Director, Programme and Administration, WRAPA, Anita Ari, stressed the need for the change agents to sustain their advocacy programmes to promote girl-child education, women empowerment and ending violence at the grassroots level.
“The action plan is one of the sustainability plan because if they have it, they will be able to use it to get funding to continue to do the work they are doing because WFWI that had been supporting them will not be there forever.
“Also, we plan for them to have a registered entities that are legally opearing because there is an implication for establishment that are not legally registered not to live up to their obligations, especially when they get funding from philanthropists,” she said.
Ms Tamwakat Hassan, a participant and a Change Agent, from Plateau state said the impact of the training had reduced prevalence of violence against women and girls, land inheritance issues as well as promoted girl-child education at the grassroots.
Hassan, therefore, appealed to the government to fully implement the Violence Against People (Prohibition) Act (2015), Child Rights Acts and other policies that would protect the women and children and ensure offenders were prosecuted. (NAN)