The Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment in Africa (WAELE) Ondo State chapter, has empowered some widows in the state with N2 million.
The empowerment took place during the group’s 15th anniversary celebration on Thursday in Akure.
The anniversary celebration where the beneficiaries were presented with cheques was tagged, “Economic Empowerment of Widows in Africa.”
Mrs Grace Adeniseun, State Coordinator of WAELE, explained that the N2million was for 90 widows, with five each selected from 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
According to her, the group has also concluded plans to train 35 women from Ondo State in Tanzania, as part of the efforts of the Founder, Otunba Basirat Nahibi, to further empower the womenfolk in the country.
Adeniseun said that the empowerment initiative would make it easy for women to overcome their financial challenges.
She said that trading with such fund would enable the vulnerable women to have resources to train their children.
According to her, the founder’s primary aim is to increase women’s access to education and empowerment opportunities, to ensure sustainable livelihood and enable them to live free of gender-based violence.
The state coordinator said WAELE was founded on May 8, 2004, with the aim to advancing opportunities for women of all ages.
She said the group had taken women to different countries for empowerment and enlightenment since inception.
“The founder has been empowering widows, she has been taking them to other countries for empowerment and enlightenment.
“Whenever we have programmes like this, people donate for us; as we are going to Tanzania now, the programme is in conjunction with the Tanzanian government,” she said.
Adeniseun called on women not to depend on their husbands alone, but to participate in business and politics in the country.
“My fellow women, it’s high time to stand and find something doing, not to be over dependent on your husbands; doing business and coming out and be voted for, not that you should be voting for people.
“We want you to be active in politics in your locality, environment and you should speak out for your rights,” Adeniseun said.
The founder and initiator of the WAELE , Otunba Basirat Nahibi, said the vision and mission of the group were to empower the womenfolk, especially widows, fight against women trafficking, sexual abuse and women discrimination.
She said it also advocated against kidnapping, indiscriminate killings and all social vices that negatively impact on the women.
Nahibi, who was represented by the National Secretary of the organisation, Dr. Aisha Saliu-Lemu, said that the organisation had birthed a compassion home, a shelter for vulnerable women and children, and was operating a women and children hospital.
Nahibi said that the group was present and active in 53 African countries.
According to her, it strives to unify various women groups to provide a strong voice for the fulfilment of African women’s aspirations.
“We create an enabling environment for empowering women economically and politically. We advocate peace and conflict resolution in Africa
“One of the greatest needs of widows is economic empowerment.
“This is because many of them have been stripped of their husbands’ financial and material assets at the demise of their spouses.
“Widowed mothers have to support their families alone and are forced to take their children out of school and engage them in manual labour,” she said.