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HEIR Women Hub engages 40 FCT young women on leadership,  civic knowledge enhancement 

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HEIR Women Hub engages 40 FCT young women on leadership,  civic knowledge enhancement 

By: Omirin Joshua

HEIR Women Hub hosted a Peer to peer virtual session on Leadership and Civic Knowledge Enhancement for Young Women in the FCT.

The project began in January with a training conference and a public sensitization of young women in the FCT in collaboration with the  Nigeria Youth Futures Fund (NYFF) and was implemented by LEAP Africa with support from Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation with the theme: “Advancing Leadership Capacity of Young Women: A cross-generational strategy to tackling Gender Gaps in Governance“. 

The Executive Director (ED) of HEIR Women Hub, Añuli Aniebo Ola-Olaniyi in an opening remark  stressed the need for young women to do more and thrive amidst societal norms, while expressing hope for positive impact on the project and expectations afterward. 

She disclosed that Facts about young women’s participation in leadership shows that global percentage of  women’s participation in leadership is at 22.5% and that of the African region around 23.4%, addi8ng that the national average of women’s participation in governance in Nigeria is set at 6.7% despite women accounting for 49.4%of the total population  with the mean age of women involved in political processes set at 55years. 

“Is there a place for young women” she queried?

According to her, of the 4,259 contestants for the presidential and the national assembly seat in the 2023 elections, only 381 are women constituting 8.9%| with 5 5 states of the 36 states having female candidates contesting for a seat at the National Assembly.

She however blamed the wide gender gap in female participation in leadership on 
Lack of support based on cultural expectations of young women ,

sexual harassment, gender discrimination, lack of support for female leader, traditional perceived gender roles among others and the lack of economic resources 

“The report from the world gender gap report 2022 places Nigeria at 123rd with a score of 0.639 out of a total of 146 countries with a gender gap of 63.9%.

“Statistics from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) report revealed that only 30% of companies in Nigeria have attained gender balance in the workforce and women account for 33% of the workforce . Nigeria has less than 65% wealth equality , ranked 50t in economic participation and opportunity, 134th in educational attainment, 97th in health and survival, and 141st in political empowerment 

Sharing her past and present political journeys at the meeting , Barrister  Juliet Isi Ikhayere, a Principal Partner at MAKHOMS-J Attorneys noted the numerous  challenges  faced by young women in politics, and how she is still thriving,”she explained.

According to the ED, the involvement of women in nation-building is an inalienable right, as well as an inescapable reality for holistic and comprehensive political, economic, and social advancement.

“When young women are included in leadership across different levels , this will promote productivity and progress for both the women and the country.

“There will be a decline in the case of gender-based violence confronting young women as more responsive policies will be promoted and this will encourage the growth of GDP of the country,”she added.  

” It didn’t end with training young women to take on more leadership positions in society. HEIR Women Hub went a step further to take this to the street. We engaged young women and the general public first on their civic rights and also on the benefit of having young women in leadership.

“About 50% of the young ladies who were at the leadership training came out for this purpose and it was an experience indeed. A lot of feedback has been drawn from this engagement and we believe that henceforth, it will go beyond taking as we shall begin to see results.

“It is a cheering thing to see young women from different climes unite for a common goal. The future is indeed female,”she assured 

Sharing her past and present political journeys Barrister Juliet Isi Ikhayere, a Principal Partner at MAKHOMS-J Attorneys expressed the challenges she faced, and how she is still thriving.

Similarly, Sylvia Sarki, the National Youth Coordinator, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) noted that contesting for the position of the President for the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). One can say her experience is a combination of sour and sweet. She urged young women who were in attendance to not give up on their ambition irrespective of the challenges they face.

HEIR Women Hub engages 40 FCT young women on leadership,  civic knowledge enhancement 

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