By Justina Auta, ABUJA
Women Affairs Minister Pauline Tallen has lauded the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and ActionAid Nigeria for promoting women’s cause in the implementation of the Women’s Voices and Leadership (WVL) project across the federation.
“I am so proud of NAWOJ for being the women’s voice, supporting women, and addressing the challenges we are facing particularly in the political sphere,” Tallen said in Abuja while inaugurating the first-ever National Secretariat of NAWOJ.
She said the project would address issues affecting women and the girl-child nationwide.
“I want to urge you all to continue the good work you have been doing being the women’s voice.
“NAWOJ and FIDA are the voice of the voiceless in defending the voiceless and ending Gender Based Violence,” she said.
She called on women to continue to advocate the implementation of policies and legislations, especially at the national assembly that will protect the rights of women and children.
Speaking, Mrs. Ladi Bala, President of NAWOJ said the collaborative efforts would further give room to amplify voices on issues affecting women, and promote leadership roles and training for them.
“The inauguration of this office is an epoch event in the history of NAWOJ. It is a milestone for women journalists in Nigeria.
“We have expanded the scope of NAWOJ to begin to work with development organisations, where we can deal directly on issues affecting women.
“This is made possible through the support of WVL project. It is initiated by ActionAid aimed at building the institutional capacity of women-led organisations.
“With this partnership with ActionAid, NAWOJ is set to engage with other donor organisations. The issue of capacity training going forward for women journalists is going to be easy.
“NAWOJ is going to engage with other development partners because we now have a structure and are working on a financial system, which is transparent,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs. Ene Obi, Country Director of ActionAid said the partnership between the two organisations would enable the voices of women to be heard and efforts to address their challenges.
She said: “The WVL is a project from ActionAid through support from Global Affairs Canada to support 100 women-led organisations.
“We are not dictating what they do, but we see passionate women, who want to do something.
“We also have 30 women-led Projects in terms of GBV and others. And we are trying to see how we can secure places for women to see how those who have energy to work and raise the voices of women.”
Mr. Desmond Osemhenjie, Programme Specialist, UNWomen, reiterated their commitment to promoting an inclusive and peaceful Nigeria through women empowerment and gender equality.
“NAWOJ has a pivotal role to play, and we count on you to champion and spearhead these efforts and move them forward,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WVL project is a five-year 9.7 million dollars project funded by Global Affairs Canada.
The project is aimed at tackling the barriers to gender equality and supporting the empowerment of women and girls through the provision of technical and financial resources to local women’s rights organisations (LWROs1) that are advancing the rights of women and girls, and championing gender equality.