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Women’s Day: Experts seek more participation of women in waste management





Some experts on environment have called for gender balance in all aspects of human endeavours to enable them contribute to the economic and structural development of the country, especially in managing waste.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos, they also canvassed for deliberate policy steps that would encourage women to freely express themselves, as they spoke against the backdrop of the 2019 International Women’s Day.

Mrs Sade Nubi, an Environmental Engineer with the Department of Works and Physical Planning, University of Lagos, called on women to take up responsibilities, including waste to wealth initiative,to  enable them contribute more efficiently to their communities.

“Women are the first creator of waste and there is need for more orientation, for them, on how to reduce waste. About 75 per cent of the workforce in recycling and waste management is women,” she said.

Nubi explained that women were also directly in charge of domestic waste and were involved, more, in the management of waste; from generation, sorting, transportation, recycling to final disposal.

She said by this, women made great contribution by ensuring prevention and waste reduction in their homes.

The expert noted that up-cycling was prominent where by women used waste in a creative and unique way, including art works from nylon and plastics as well as furniture form used tyre.

She also called on women to be empowered for them pursue their dreams, adding that they should see waste management as a vocation that could create wealth.

On her part, Mrs Modinat Adebayo, a recycling supervisor at the UNILAG recycling centre, said she trained her children to become graduates of the recycling business.

Adebayo,(50), said she was born into the waste sorting recycling business, adding she had been in the business all her life.

She called on the people, particularly women, not to look down on waste and recycling business.

“I grew up seeing my mother thrived in the waste business. I learnt from her, earned my living and trained my four children who are now graduates, from waste business.

“I urge the government to provide more sorting and recycling hubs to enable women grow in the sector,” Adebayo said.


Foundation empowers 100 infertility women in Nigeria



Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, has empowered 100 infertility women in Nigeria to establish small businesses to be independent and rebuild their lives.

Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, that the foundation had supported the women, in collaboration with the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

According to her, the foundation has been partnering with Buhari, who is also the Ambassador of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’.

“We have been working to break the infertility stigma in the country and building equitable and quality healthcare capacity, through ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign.

Over 100 infertile women were supported to establish small business so that they can rebuild themselves and lead independent and happier lives.’’

Kelej said Merck foundation had provided training for embryologists in Nigeria to create a platform of local experts in the fertility care.

Merck Foundation has also provided two Nigerian doctors with one-year diabetes and hypertension post-graduate diploma training from University of South Wales, UK.

“We are fully committed to continuing providing specialised training in the fields of cancer, fertility and diabetes care to more doctors across Nigeria after the official launch,’’ she said.

According to her, First Ladies of 18 countries are part of the ambassadors of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’, leading and executing the initiatives in their respective countries.

“They are leading the initiative to empower infertile women and break the stigma around infertility.

“This speaks volume about the work we are doing.

As a part of Merck More Than a Mother, we have been providing clinical training to candidates from Africa and Asia to establish a platform of fertility specialists and embryologists.

“So far, the number of Merck Foundation Alumni in this field is more than 185 candidates from 35 countries across Africa and Asia.

“Also, we have supported the establishment of the first-ever Public IVF centres in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda by training their staff to be able to support the infertile couples.’’

The official said she was proud of the success stories, saying “I always feel that they are my children and I am super proud of their success.

“It is very important to empower infertile women by providing treatment so they can bear children as part of their human rights.

“But, for those who cannot be treated anymore, Merck More Than a Mother’s initiative ‘Empowering Berna’ helps to train them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their own lives’’.

Kelej also said that the foundation also worked with local singers, film-makers, media partners and fashion designers to raise awareness to break the stigma of infertility.

“These initiatives are very important for Nigeria since it is the hub of art and fashion, I cannot wait to explore these beautiful talents and work closely with them.

“The aim is to sensitise our communities that women are more than just mothers and men are more than just fathers.

“It takes both a man and a woman to have a child,’’ she said.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Two women killed in violent attacks in Carinthia, Austria




Two women were killed in violent attacks in Austria’s southernmost state Carinthia on Saturday morning and a major police operation has been carried out to hunt the suspect, reported local media.

In Drobollach am Faaker See (Villach municipality), a 56-year-old woman was shot on the open road at around 9 a.m. Saturday morning, according to a report by the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

Shortly before, according to the police, a 62-year-old woman was killed in Wernberg, but not with a firearm, said APA. Investigators assume that the two women were killed by one and the same perpetrator.

At noon, the police searched across the country for the perpetrator who was traveling in a white vehicle. Checkpoints were set up near the border crossings, the vehicles were guided through the checkpoints on the motorways, and the police helicopter was also in use.

There was no information about the motive for the two bloody deeds. Local media suspected that the alleged perpetrator could flee to Italy via the nearby border.


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NGO empowers 23,817 young girls, women in Kaduna



A Kaduna-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), said on Saturday that it had empowered 23,817 young boys, girls, and women in the last 12 years.

The Programme Officer of the NGO, Ms Grace Isah, made this known in a statement in Kaduna, as part of activities to celebrate 12 years of service to humanity.

Isah explained that with the support of partners, committed staff and mentors, EWEI had been delivering multi-sectoral interventions for the empowerment of girls and women.

Over the last 12 years we have watched with humility and thankfulness the 23,817 lives we have been able to touch positively, and this has kept us going.

“We have learned from our mistakes and successes over the years and we will continue to support women and girls access opportunities and resources they need to improve their wellbeing,” she said.

She said that the young girls, boys, and women were empowered under the NGOs various programmes and projects designed to impact positively on their lives.

She explained that EWEI’s Civic Education and Participation for Women Project (CEPWOP) addresses the under-representation of women and excluded groups in the political space.

Through CEPWOP, we are giving voice to women and girls and encouraging them to participate in governance.

Also, EWEI’s Educational Subsidy Programme (ESP) was designed to support girl child education, while the Economic Empowerment Partnership (EEP) programme builds the capacity of women and girls.

EEP assists economically disadvantaged women and out-of-school girls to source for micro-credit facilities as part of effort to help them out of poverty,” she said.

The programme officer added that EWEI also engaged young women and female professionals from Nigeria and around the world via its online chart platform for horizontal learning, networking, exchange, and mentorship.

She further said that the NGO, through its Getting Involved (GI) programme, was supporting and equipping youth to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals in their communities.

Similarly, since 2011, EWEI’s Know and Say No programme, had been raising awareness and strengthening institutional capacities to address gender-based violence (GBV).

“Our Safe Spaces project (OSS) equally supports women and girl survivors of gender-based violence by providing access to psychosocial support systems and economic empowerment opportunities to facilitate normalisation of their lives,” Isah said.

The officer said that EWEI would continue to encourage girls and women to harness their abilities and take more active roles in decision making and policy formation.

This, she said, would ensure that their voices were heard and taken seriously, following the hardship caused by insecurity, gender-based violence and poverty, as well as the uncertainty created by Coronavirus pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that EWEI was established in 2008 by Ms Safiya Ibn-Garba, to empower young girls and women through multi-sectoral interventions.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)



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COVID-19: NGO takes sensitization campaign to market, community, women leaders in Kaduna



An NGO, Second Chance Humanitarian Aid Foundation, on Friday organised a one day seminar on COVID-19 preventive measures for market, community and women leaders in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Ladi Bala, founder of the foundation, said that the organisation considered it necessary to complement government efforts in creating awareness on coronavirus at the grassroots.

The founder, who was represented by Banta Bala, Project Coordinator of the Foundation, said people at grassroots needed much sensitisation because of their vulnerability, and creating such awareness would further give them  a sense of belonging.

“The rural dwellers need to be well informed on measures to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus.

“The government is doing her best but the bulk of the responsibility is on the people to do the needful, as such, we considered it needful to contribute our token in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.

Mr Peter Ibrahim, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, harped on the need for behavioral change on the part of members of the public in the face of the pandemic.

“As much as the State Government is considering easing of the lockdown, people’s attitude especially in observing social distancing was a major challenge.

“I commend the organisers of the event, as it is part of government’s plans to engage critical stakeholders including, traditional and religious leaders, market groups and associations, amongst others in combating COVID-19,” he added.

Ibrahim urged participants to leverage on the lessons learnt at the seminar to further educate other members of the community.

Also speaking, Mr Sunday Tabishi, the Council Secretary, Kaura Local Government, commended the initiative, which according to him, was timely.

Tabishi urged the people to exercise more patience as the government was doing all within its power to bring succor to the people, particularly those at the grassroots.

Earlier, Mr Isaac Auta, a member  of the foundation, who spoke on Personal Hygiene, told participants to ensure regular washing of their hands, use of face masks and observe social distancing.

He said although there had not been any reported case of COVID-19 in the area, residents needed to observe the necessary precautionary measures, bearing in mind that the virus was real.

Malam Musa Buga, Head of Manchok market and Mrs Mageret Musa, Head of Women in the market, in their separate responses appreciated the NGO for the sensitisation, noting that it gave them a sense of belonging.

They assured the foundation of judicious use of the items they received and promised to enlighten others on lessons learnt at the seminar.

NAN reports that the seminar tagged, “COVID-19 Intervention Project”, saw presentation of 1,000 face masks as well as 10 hand washing basins to be placed at the Local Government Secretariat and the market place.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Okota Rotary Club empowers women, donate ICT, first AID kits to schools



Rotary Club of Okota, District 9110, says it has empowered five women, donated ICT equipment, fully kitted first aid boxes and supply note books to some schools in Okota Community area of Lagos State.

Its President, Ronke Jones-Adewale, said that the donations were part of the “Three in One” project embarked upon by the club.

It was tagged: “Basic Education and Literary Project”.

Jones-Adewale said items donated by the club to the beneficiaries included complete ICT system unit with all in one printer, universal power supply.

In the empowerment programme, each beneficiary woman got Ex large insulated cooling container, plastic cooler, five cartoons of soft drinks, five cartoons of bottled water and stipends for ice blocks.

She said that the basic education and literary project comprised fully kitted first aid kits and 1,500 note books to six schools within Okota and Oke-Afa areas.

The club president said that donations to the schools were continuous programme.

She said that the first aid boxes had been introduced in some schools in line with the Motto of Rotary: “Doing Good in the World, Service To Humanity”.

The club leader said that four out of the six schools had been enjoying the club’s programme before two other schools were added.

Jones-Adewale said that the complete ICT system unit with all in one printer and universal power supply were donated to two secondary schools in Okota, which made the total number of beneficiary schools to be eight.

She said that the donation was in tandem with what Rotary International stands for all over the world.

Jones-Adewale said that basic education was one of the six areas of focus as the bedrock and future of any nation in the 21st century.

“Regarding the empowerment, the impact is definitely going to be felt by the beneficiaries, their dependants and invariably the community.

“The items of empowernment will shore up the income base of the beneficiaries, the entire value chain involved in delivering the service, while also providing satisfaction to the consumers in whichever community they might be operating their businesses,” she said.

Commenting, Mr Jide Oderinde, the club Secretary, said that the effect of COVID-19 on Rotary Club generally had been very disastrous.

Oderinde said: “It has really held us back from doing our normal things, but still we went ahead under the leadership of a determined president.”

The secretary said that both international and at the centre, most of our meetings are now virtual, like this programme that we did today, we supposed to have done it long time ago, this Rotary year, the president is so committed.

“I salute her courage she went ahead and make sure that she accomplished all her set goals, because we are rounding up the Rotary year.

“But we thanked God, we are law abiding organisation; we don’t go contrary to the government directive.

“But, we put all the recommendations laid by government into place during the programme, we ensure we maintain social distances,” he said.

Oderinde said that the club president had completed her set goals.

Earlier, Mrs Tiitlope Okubadejo, a former President and Chairman Service Project, said that Rotary delighted to see people expressing their joy and satisfaction about what the club has been able to do for them.

Okubadejo said all these we have done today were just to ensure that we affect the lives of our community positively.

“Whenever we rise up between the Okota Community that we are from Rotary, we are happy the way people welcome us, because they know that we are positively impacting their lives,” she said.

A beneficiary, Mrs Bolanle Ariyo, said she was very happy that the club did not wait for the big things to happen before empowering them.

Ariyo said that she did not know anybody from the club, but was nominated to be among the beneficiaries, adding that what was given to her would go a long way, especially at this point in time.

She prayed that none of the club members will be victims of COVID-19.

Also, Mrs Mojisola Adeyoyin, the Headmistress, Low Cost Primary School II, responding on behalf of all beneficiary schools, said that the club had just addressed one of the major needs of pupils in her school.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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COVID -19: Gov.’s wife trains 60 women on face masks, hand sanitisers production in Zamfara



Wife of Zamfara Governor,  Hajiya Aisha Bello-Matawalle has trained 60 women in production  of face masks and hand sanitisers, as part efforts to control  spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Speaking while flagging off the training in Gusau on Thursday, the governor’s wife’s  said: “This is another good response to the COVID -19 prevention plans for people of the state under Gov.  Bello Matawalle’s administration

“Few weeks ago, my office made relentless efforts to cushion the effect of the lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic among our women and vulnerable groups across the state.

“We provided palliatives and preventive materials including hand sanitisers, face masks, hand gloves, soaps, sensitisation flyers, clothing materials and foodstuffs.

“Our support to women in the state will still continue in the wake of the pandemic.

 “We deemed it imperative to mobilise local tailors from grassroots to produce home made PPEs.

“It is my honour today to launch the Mask-up Zamfara initiative programme sponsored under my office, which is a hand sanitisers and face masks production training programme for women in response to  COVID 19 prevention in the state.”

According to her, the training program which is targeting 20 women in each of the three senatorial zones, will be scaled up to all the fourteen Local Government Areas of the state.

“The training is aimed at capacity building for women and also to equip them to produce massive numbers of face masks and hand sanitisers as well as impacting the knowledge to other women.

 “Though Zamfara has been declared COVID-19 free, but the dust is yet to settle across the country.

“I hope that this initiative will bring positive impact on  the lives of women and children in the state,” she said.

She noted that the effort would make face masks and hand sanitisers more accessible to people at the grassroots level as part of government’s efforts of protecting people from infectious diseases.

“I want to use this medium to express my gratitude to my husband,  for his incessant support and advise to this laudable initiative, which amongst others has led to many tremendous successes.

I pray for Allah’s guidance and support for  his leadership to move the state to greater level,” she said.

The  governor’s wife urged women in the state to continue to take steps to protect themselves and their children against COVID-19 and other diseases.

She also appealed to people of the state to continue with prayers to Allah to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Kudirat Abiola: Women Arise marks 24 years remembrance of late MKO’s wife



Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise, has saluted the efforts of Late Kudirat Abiola and other activists who fought for the return of democracy to the country.

In her tribute to the pro-democracy activist who was killed 24 years ago, Okei-Odumakin described Kudirat as a “slain heroine and mother of the struggle for democracy in Nigeria”.

She said that 24 years after Kudirat Abiola was killed, the wife of late winner of the annuled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, was still fresh in the minds of pro-democracy activists.

According to Okei-Odumakin, Kudirat stood like a colossus amongst the army of democracy defender, who stoutly resisted the unjust diktat that was the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election results.

The late Kudirat Abiola roared like a lion at many pro-democracy gatherings and marches and the vile dictators and their cohort trembled with trepidation.

“For her stubborn and uncompromising defence of principles, she was killed on the street of Lagos on June 4, 1996,” she said.

Okei-Odumakin said that pro-democracy activists remember Kudirat today despite the coronavirus pandemic that had made impossible physical gathering like they used to do in her honour.

She urged other activists to remain steadfast on the principle she died for and continue their demand for an end to wanton killings in the land.

Okei-Odumakin said they were also calling for the freedom for Leah Sharibu and all others in the gulag of terrorists.

“To those of them that have paid with their life, you did not die in vain. You died for our collective struggle and we will always remember what you stood for.

To Kudirat, whose date and fond memories vile dictators and their repressive measures could not obliterate.

To Kudirat whose contributions and sacrifice no pandemic can override or overrule,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children



The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

“MWAN calls on the government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice is carried out for Vera Omozuwa, who was attacked and raped on May 27.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.

“We call on government at all levels to partner with forensic scientists and pathologists to create a national DNA database of convicted criminal and place CCTV cameras in public places,’” she said.

The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.

“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.

MWAN Edo as doctors, mothers, women, girls and females say no to rape. Save-a-girl child; save-a-woman and save-the world: No consent to rape”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.

Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Planting season: Women group seeks timely support for farmers



Hajia Bosede Anifowose, the Kwara Coordinator of the Small Scale Women Farmers’ Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has called for timely support from the state government for the planting season.

Anifowose made the call on Wednesday in Ilorin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

She said that late release of farm inputs and agro-chemicals as support for farmers would be inimical to a prosperous farming season.

The coordinator appealed to the government to capture women farmers in whatever programmes it had for farmers in the state.

She said that women farmers constituted a chunk of farmers’ population in the state and the country at large.

“The way everything is silent is not too good for farmers. We are yet to hear from government on what they have for us.

“We had a meeting recently and the government officials there promised that government will provide supports.

“But whatever support government wants to do for farmers, particularly women farmers should be done now that new planting season has just commenced so that it won’t be too late.

“We have cases in the past where inputs and agro-chemicals are released late to farmers and this used to affect our harvests.

“We have been asked to submit a list of our members for supports and I have been in the ministry of finance many  times to enquire about what government has for us but nothing is forthcoming.”

Anifowose advised the state government not to pay lip service to crop farming, saying it was shocking that there was budget line only for livestock farming during the budget review session.

She said that the group would need support on government for irrigation to ensure round year farming among its members.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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