Little did I know how true this above assertion is when I started Women Inspiration development Center 8 years ago? As the World Pulse Award Recipient of 2009 Voice of our future correspondence, I was qualified to attend Empowerment Institute, USA where I was trained as an Agency Based Empowerment Workshop trainer. Immediately I came back, Women Inspiration Development Center was established to create a safe place for Nigerian women and girls in challenging situation to find their voices, expressing their power and living their dreams through delivering agency which is a game changer for women empowerment.
Women Inspiration Development Center organized the Agency Based Empowerment Workshop for 250 women in 5 different rural communities in Nigeria this year. Based on data collected by our Monitoring and Evaluation team before the empowerment workshop, 95% of these women were jobless and no business that can bring money to them, they just relied on whatever their husband could give them. Also, (80%) were facing one form of GBV or the other while 20% were not sure whether they have experienced GBV before. It was also discovered that 90% of these women could not read and write while the remaining 10% could write their names and other simple words. We also gathered that 65% of the women were facing domestic violence especially wife battering, 100% had gone through female circumcision, 20% had experienced rape at one time or the other.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WORKSHOP
Immediately after the Empowerment Workshop, 65% of the women developed clear vision on owning their economic power and their freedom from abuse. Before we left the villages, WIDC established the women into “Support Groups” where they were meeting weekly to monitor each other’s growth. During their meetings they were also and also contributing money no matter how small inform of “Table Banking”. This money they are contributing, they were borrowing each other weekly and the person that borrows the money must use it to start a small business.
SIX MONTHS AFTER THE WORKSHOP
Six months after the agency empowerment workshop and economic empowerment through participation in support group and table banking, Women Inspiration Development center visited the villages again to see how the women were doing and how they were growing in their visions. We then found out that 68% of the women have established viable businesses and were making money, 45% said they were receiving more respect from their husbands than before, while 5% was ready to leave their abusive husbands and start new lives on their own.
A year after the empowerment workshop, Women Inspiration Development Center visited the women again in their villages to check their growth and how their businesses were moving. We found out that 12 of the women now have large farms of cassava and plantation. The businesses of the 68% of the women have doubled what it was during our first visit.
Our conclusion is there is high prevalence of GBV against women and girls in Nigeria especially rural women and the main reason is that most of them lack economic power and thus rely on their husbands for means of livelihood. As a result of this, the women kept on enduring the abuse from their husbands because they were afraid that they will be kicked out of their homes with nothing to fall back on.
The study also concluded that the agency empowerment workshop has helped the women to develop the courage to speak out against their abusive situations, they were able to own their powers and also have vision to be economically viable to take their rightful positions in their homes and community at large.
Four of our women have been invited to the leadership meetings in their villages. They are now part of decision makers in their communities which is a huge success for us
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
We are planning to scale the Agency Based Empowerment Workshop in Nigeria. These workshop is needed by all women and girls all over the world especially developing countries where there are so much poverty.
To be able to reach more women and girls for these empowerment workshop, we are planning to scale agency based empowerment workshop in Nigeria. We want to have “Delivery Agency Center” where NGOs working with women and girls from any part of Nigeria and neighboring countries could be invited for agency Empowerment Workshop training. We will be targeting 20 NGOs working with women and girls every year and after their training, they will organize the empowerment workshops for 10,000 women and girls. By these WIDC will be reaching 10,000 every year.
Imagine 10,000 women and girls claiming their economic power yearly!
The ripple effect after five years will be unimaginable!
Support us in any little way you can, share us with your network and you can be mentors for these women and girls. You can donate on our fundraising page in Global Giving through this link. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-nigerian-young-women/