An NGO, the Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI) on Monday inaugurated four women cooperative societies in Kaduna State to commemorate the 2021 International Women Day.
Ms Nana Murtala, EWEI’s Senior Programme Officer, Organisational Development and Partnership said at the event that the cooperatives were established under the “Our Safe Spaces (OSS) Project’’.
Murtala said that the OSS project, which began in 2019 with support from the United Nation’s Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, had empowered 80 women in two communities in the state.
She identified the communities as Unguwan Romi in Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) and Unguwan Dosa in Kaduna North LGA.
The programme officer said that the four cooperative societies and two in each of the communities were established as a sustainability plan for the women to continue to help themselves and support other women in their communities.
She said that EWEI had partnered the Mabinas Micro Finance Bank, Kaduna, for the cooperatives to access interest-free loans to run their businesses with EWEI as guarantor.
“We have been empowering the women through seminars on Gender Based Violence and mobilising them to help end violence against women and girls in their communities.
“We decided to organise the women into cooperative societies as a sustainability plan to enable the women to continue to support themselves after the expiration of the OSS project.
“The inauguration of the cooperatives is part of EWEI’s activities to celebrate the International Women’s Day, 2021, to empower the women to achieve financial independence,’’ she said.
The OSS Focal Person, Mr Uche Egbe, said that the women had been trained on income generation ventures and how to mobilise resources to run businesses for financial independence.
Egbe identified the cooperative societies as Unguwan Dosa OSS Nasarallahi Women Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited and Unguwan Dosa OSS Cigaban Al’Uma Women Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd.
Others are Unguwan Romi OSS Unity Women Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd. and Unguwan Romi OSS Taimakon Juna Women Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Ltd.
According to him, the step will enable the women to fight financial related violence being meted against them in communities.
“We will also distribute some food items and personal protective equipment to the women to cushion the effect of COVID-19.’’
One of the community leaders at the event, Mr Habila Sarki, Ward Head of Unguwan Romi, thanked EWEI for empowering the women with skills and creating the needed awareness on gender based violence.
According to him, the measure will significantly prevent gender based violence and help the women to be financially independence and live quality life.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Customer Service Officer, Marinas Micro Finance Bank, Ms Sumayya Aliyu, took the cooperative members through business and financial management.
According to Aliyu, The goal is for the women to understand how to run a business and efficiently manage financial resources to ensure the survival of the cooperatives. (NAN)