By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
An international organization, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has empowered over 200 women in Abuja.
The empowerment and exhibition of skills took place yesterday in Abuja to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day.
The workshop themed “keep the promise to women” saw women displaying various skills learnt during previous workshops organised by the NGO.
Addressing newsmen during the workshop, the State Nursing Coordinator of AHF Abuja, Mrs Christie Awunor, said that the Foundation was out to make sure that women contribute their quota in the development of society by being economically and financially independent from their husbands.
She said: “Our focus is on creating entrepreneurship for every woman to be self reliant and be able to do something for herself and her family. The truth is that, in every home, women stands as a strong pillar and it is important for every woman to carry along her family. A lot of men are jobless and cannot take care of their families. Therefore, the women take it upon themselves to engage in buying and selling of goods and services, in order to provide for their families, no matter how menial. Some of them engage bead making, knitting, baking, making of wigs, make up, among other things, because they are determined to earn a living.
“In the hall today, we have about 150 women and 25 exhibitors. We intend to support the women financially, in order to continue being effective, efficient and, above all, to be able to make money to take care of their families. In the past, we have empowered more than one hundred women, including those in Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Cross River States during event such as this. For next year’s International Women’s Day, we intend to move to another state, probably Akwa Ibom state, where we intend to empower more women to continue putting food on their table..
Also speaking, AHF Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr Steve Aborisade, said that government should key into the development program started by the Foundation especially by making sure that women are not marginalized in society.
He said: “We need to empower our women, especially the promise we made to them. We know the economic situation of the country and how a lot of women have been marginalized. It is a crucial time for us to make a loud statement as a nation and stand by our women, which is what we are doing with the empowerment programme. We are exhibiting and impacting skills, especially as women are the people running the homes.
“We are using the exhibition here today to encourage other women. Some of the women started with N5, 000 or less, but they have started earning enough to take care of their families. When a woman is empowered, the home is empowered. Empowerment of women is a lofty, noble agenda everyone must embrace. The women participating in the exhibition are from different parts of Abuja, though we have held different empowerment programs in states across the country. We will even give them sanitary pads to encourage hygiene.
“We will continue to advocate for the betterment of the women folk. Beyond advocacy, we have to invest in our women and to always be there for them. For instance, in the exhibition, we have people making confectioners, beads, local spices, among other things. The ingenuity of our women cannot be overemphasized. We are also supporting the women financially, in order to encourage them.”