A Lagos based NGO, the Hopewell Initiative for National Development (HIND), has restored hope of enhanced livelihoods to 500 vulnerable women,by giving them cash gift and brand new working tools.
The Founder, Alhaja Bilquees Aiyepola, who made this known at the International Women Day (IWD) symposium in Lagos on Friday, noted that the donation was to bring succour to the vulnerable women in the society.
The symposium theme : “Taking a Bold Step to Greatness”, was to commemorate this year’s International Women Day.
Aiyepola said that N20,000 was given to each of the 400 beneficiaries to support their businesses, while equipment, such as grinding machine, washing machine, toasting machine and gas cooker, among others, were given to 100 of them.
She noted that the group also assisted the vulnerable women, such as low income earners, traders, widows, single mothers and some women living in conflict with their partners.
HIND founder said,“The spate of rape, molestation, social violence and forced labour, especially those in the Diaspora, had become enormous and inimical to the wellbeing of women folk.
“The increasing rate of single mothers and discrimination against them has also been noticed by our NGO.
“We, therefore, take it as a wake-up call to taking bold step to address the anomaly and proffer ways forward,” he said.
She appealed to corporate organisations, philanthropists and other well-meaning individuals to support the group in reaching out to the less-privileged women.
Also, a Consultant at Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Mrs Grace Ijarogbe, urged women to speak up against domestic violence.
The psychiatrist noted that several women were going through gender-based violence, an act that, she said, had been threatening and depriving women of freedom, resulting in physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering.
She listed some risk factors against vulnerable women to include: low education, low financial earning capacity and forced marriages/unions, emerging from dysfunctional /violent homes.
According to her, others factors are: the distance of women from family and social support as well as women living in conflict/war zones, elimination of child labour, abuse and legislating education for the girl-child.
Ijarogbe said that the gender-based violence could be reduced by improvement in educational services for female children to improve their literacy levels.
“Also, there should be special programmes in the community that keep adolescents from drugs and prostitution,” she said.
Ijarogbe noted that world bodies, such as UN, WHO, health sectors, the media, government policies, NGOs, learning institutions and religious bodies, were trying their best to mitigate gender-based issues.
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