Global Affairs Canada, ActionAid Nigeria laud Enugu Govt on programmes implementation

A Canadian body,  Global Affairs Canada, office of the Canada high commission Abuja and ActionAid Nigeria have expressed  satisfaction with the  successes recorded in the  implementation of the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project  in Enugu state.

They  commended the state  Governor ,Dr. Peter Mbah  for his administration’s commitment to implementing policies aimed at improving the living standards of women and girls.

Pix: Gov. Mbah

They gave the commendation. on Tuesday, July 9, when they paid a courtesy visit on the Governor in Enugu.

The leader of the delegation and the Head of Development Cooperation, Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project, Djifa Ahado, said the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project is a five-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada.

 The project according to her is aimed at tackling the barriers to gender equality and supporting the empowerment of women and girls through provision of financial and technical resources to local feminist/women’s rights organisations in Nigeria. 

Ahado, who said the aim of the visit was to Identify areas the organisations could partner and support the government in promoting gender-based programmes,  noted that the project was designed to respond to the challenges faced in the efforts to eliminate discrimination and rights violations in policy and legislation and the provision of services, as well as harmful social beliefs and practices.

Pix: Gov Mbah(L) Ahado (R)

*Our efforts have reached over 2 million women, girls, and families, with an investment of  N296,202,203.53  in Enugu State. We have enjoyed a strong collaboration with the state government in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. We recognize that women are the bedrocks of any society, and investing in their rights has a profound impact on sustainable development.

“Global Affairs Canada and ActionAid celebrate the significant achievements of the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria (WWL-N) project in Enugu State. The project has empowered women and girls, thanks to the dedication and collaboration of all involved, including the state government.

“Since 2018, through our Local Rights Program (LRP), we have supported school renovations and community empowerment in Enugu. The WVL-Nigeria project, initiated in 2019, has also made a remarkable impact through its partners,” she said..

Ahado said they had made remarkable  achievements which included capacity building of 15 partners, including 3 Local Women’s Rights Organizations (LWROs) and 12 Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), to implement women’s rights and feminist interventions; Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Women and Girls ((VAWG):; handled 5,049 GBV cases, filed 130 court cases, secured 10 legal victories.

The leader of the delegation said their  awareness campaigns reached 13,066 Individuals. They economically empowered 53 GBV survivors, gave gants and start-up materials to 709 women, trained  1,873 women  in income-generating skills.

She added that they facilitated the swearing-in of 154 women into traditional council cabinets across 22 communities, elected five women as counselors, mobilized 10,536 women to obtain voter’s cards,  established  8 Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) with 145 female members.

They also established Six peer education groups involving 130 women, leading to the abolition of female genital mutilation/cutting in Amagu Akegbe-Ugwu and increased awareness about inclusivity in leadership. 

“Our interventions spanned 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 27 communities, reaching over 2 million women, girls, and families with an investment of 296,202,203.53 Naira funded by Global Affairs Canada,” Ahado said.

She called for abolition of hidden charges in primary and secondary education to ensure girls can remain in school, ensure immediate implementation of the Enugu State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law 2019, independent commission for enforcement, protect Women and Girls from Insecurity:, increase appointment of Women in Leadership: ensure Sustainability of GBV Initiatives: boost Food Security among others 

In his speech, the head of programmes, ActionAid Nigeria, Celestine Odo  ,said women were the bedrocks of any society, and investing in their rights has a profound impact on sustainable development. He disclosed that the agency has enjoyed a strong collaboration with the state government in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Responding, Governor Mbah reassured the delegation  of his administration’s commitment to continuing to implement programmes that would concretise the aims and objectives of the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria Project and the ActionAid Nigeria in the state.

He said his administration has zero tolerance for gender-based violence in the state, noting that the fight against poverty cannot be won without putting the women into consideration..

Governor Mbah disclosed some of the critical steps being taken by the government to eliminate maternal and child mortality through the strengthening of the primary healthcare system, the construction of 260 type-2 primary healthcare hospitals with modern facilities, and the recruitment of thousands of healthcare workers that would be deployed across all the health centres in the state.

He also stressed that the administration, right from the inception of office, had a principle that supports Affirmative Action with women constituting more than 28 per cent of his appointees.

He explained that the 260 Smart Green schools in the state, which pilot was already fully functional, was a deliberate step to expose the girl-child to early quality education with free meals that would boost their health.

The Governor thanked them for choosing Enugu as one of the states and expressed the hope they will continue to partner with groups.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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