Women supporting each other is vital. This list has been compiled to serve as a resource tool: here are 10 different organisations you can reach out to.
– By Tabia Princewill
On the 5th of September, 1995 during the United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women held in Beijing, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then First Lady of the United States of America, delivered what would become known as one of the most important speeches of her political career. “It is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights”, she said. “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”.
The world was beginning to fully accept (and to promote) the notion that societies could neither develop nor prosper without tackling the heart of inequality and injustice, that is, women’s rights abuses around the world. Indeed, many studies show that the health and prosperity of women is directly linked to the well-being and overall welfare of not just their dependents but the entire community.
Here are ten organizations empowering women through various means and ensuring Nigerian women are able to disrupt stereotypes and break new ground for the benefit of society.
- STER Nigeria
Youth led organisations don’t always get the recognition they deserve. STER Nigeria campaigns against sexual violence by promoting prevention mechanisms and providing psycho-social services to survivors. Too often, rape and violence are part of women’s stories in a patriarchal society that doesn’t always fully recognise the centrality of women’s safety and overall happiness for generalised peace and development. To report a case, visit 1B Godson Ilodianya Close, Off Ayo Babatunde Crescent, by Akiogun road, Oniru, Lekki, Lagos or Second Floor, FCT City Library, 2 Gwani Street, Opposite IGI House, Zone 4, Wuse, Abuja. You can also contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Check their website for more information: www.standtoendrape.org
Women in Nigeria are still too marginalised on many fronts. Besides facing abuse and violent acts in many communities, women and girls are underrepresented in science; a number of organizations are working to reverse this trend by empowering girls to excel in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects by promoting technology as a life-changing tool for female entrepreneurs. TechHerNg is a female centred community that provides support for women in technology, particularly those interested in using it as a tool to start, grow and strengthen their businesses. To join this community of women, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you simply want to submit an article, then mail them at email@example.com. You can visit their website www.techherng for more information.
- Visiola Foundation
Women share their challenges, gain insight from each other and become more productive by connecting with a diversity of voices ready to disrupt the status quo. Mentorship plays a key role in creating the next generation of women leaders which is something the Visiola Foundation understands. It mentors and trains young Africans in STEM, encouraging them to learn skills which are particularly useful for the growth of Africa’s industrial and manufacturing base. To apply for scholarship, mentorship and all other benefits that the foundation offers, you can visit them at Rutyono Offices, 1, Kandi Close, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website www.visiolafoundation.org for more information.
- Aspilos Foundation
Perhaps it is because women are so often overlooked that they inherently possess what it takes to truly understand the necessity for progress, social justice and equality in any society. Women’s experiences are therefore central to African socio-economic development. In fact, goal-oriented organisations target women in underserved communities for this reason. The Aspilos Foundation provides ICT training to women in Northern Nigeria, therefore giving said women a new means of livelihood. In communities where women face many challenges, software development provides them not just with a skill but with a purpose which is to face up to communal challenges. You can reach them via email at email@example.com or visit their office at Suite C70, Efab Mall Ahmadu Bello Way, Area 11 Garki, Abuja Nigeria. Go to their website at aspilosfoundation.org.ng for more information.
Training in science and technology is wonderful but without developing the business skills to secure independence, it might be incomplete, which is why SheLeadsAfrica provides women with mentoring and training to both turn their business ideas into reality and take their careers to the next level. Their events are a much sought after introduction to what it means to be a focused, ambitious and determined young woman ready to have an impact. Like the African Women’s Development Fund (AWFD), SheLeadsAfrica also provides women with grants.To join this community of women, be empowered and get more information, visit their website at sheleadsafrica.org.
- African Women Development Fund (AWFD)
The AWFD has the added benefit of empowering other organisations to realise the potential of African women. Beyond assisting individual women through grants, this organisation enables groups and collectives all over Africa to strengthen their programmes and reach more women. The AWFD therefore multiplies the success rate of its partner organisations, redefining the notion of “stronger together”. Visit awdf.org/apply to apply for grants as well as read all requirements necessary to apply.
- WIMBIZ (Women in Management, Business and Public Service)
As for WIMBIZ, it is geared towards identifying and resolving the challenges and impediments to women’s full participation in public life, be it as business leaders or as policymakers. Its annual lectures and conferences provide avenues for networking, mentoring and capacity building. WIMBIZ fully supports the notion of women as key to national development and nation building. For more information about their mentoring programme, visit their website at www.wimbiz.org or you can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8.The Global Fund for Women
This organisation fights for the rights of women and girls, in particular – property rights, the right to vote, run for office, or to receive fair wages while also shedding more light on how violence affects women in particular. Human rights are women’s rights, remember. I am personally very passionate about increasing female representation in politics and elective office: to legislate on a fairer, more equal society, who better than women? The Rwandan parliament is an inspiration in that regard. You can contact them at email@example.com if you are interested in applying for a grant or visit www.globalfundforwomen.org/apply-for-a-grant/#.WoK6NbOhfIU for information on how to go about it.
- The Nigerian Women Trust Fund
This organisation raises awareness about the lack of women in elective positions and political appointments because Nigeria still falls short of global norms in that aspect. In fact, southern African countries are leading the charge in terms of providing senior political responsibilities to women. For more information on all their programmes, visit their website at nigerianwomentrustfund.org or their office at Close A, Valley Estate, off Hafsat Ahmadu Bello Street, 37 Road, 3rd Avenue, Gwarimpa, Abuja.
- Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND)
Besides business or STEM skills to boost the economy, women must also possess the leadership skills necessary to repair the social contract, that is, to demand and create a more equal society, which is why KIND exists. From tackling gender based violence to ensuring the participation of women, making sure they are full-fledged citizens with an understanding of their power, KIND serves to redefine gender based activism in Nigeria. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.kind.org for more information about their programmes.
All in all, women’s aspirations for progress and equality are indeed universal; these organisations are helping to bring us all one step closer to making our dreams a reality.
Tabia Princewill is a journalist, strategic communications consultant and public policy analyst whose articles and contributions on various topics (from lifestyle to international politics, African development and public policy) have been published both locally and internationally, notably by Le Monde, Libération, ThisDay newspapers, Vanguard newspaper (where she currently writes a weekly column on politics and development) and the Guardian newspaper. She is currently a special assistant to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Lagos, Mr. Tunji Bello.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.