GWiN (Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria) Gets the Limelight!
GWiN- an innovative concept of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (Coordinating Minister for the Economy- CME & Minister of Finance – HMF) aimed at making budgets work for girls and women in Nigeria was officially launched on Monday, 9th March 2015, at the State House Conference Center, Presidential Villa, Aso Rock by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The main aim of the Presidential launch was to formally present the GWiN initiative to the general public as well as provide Nigerians with a situational update from its 5 pilot sectors; Agricultural, Communications Technology, Health, Water Resources and Works. The GWiN initiative was conceived in 2012 by the CME – HMF in order to increase women’s participation in the different sector of the economy. It ties the provision of additional budget funds to the delivery of specific results or benefits to girls and women in Nigeria.
The Presidential Launch coincided with the commemoration of the International Women’s Day Celebration that holds every 8th of March. Expressing the importance of the day as well as the linkage to the GWIN initiative, Mr. President noted that Nigeria’s progress is tied to the collective effort of both men and women and that a country’s failure to harness women as a critical resource is inimical to national growth and development. His Excellency was particularly moved by the plight of the survivors of VVF and acknowledged the First ladies of Ebonyi and Katsina states respectively for their commitment to this category of beneficiaries. He pledged his administration’s continued support for the empowerment of women and girls and also thanked the CME – FMF for tireless efforts towards ensuring the take-off of GWiN.
Also present at the launch were: the Honorable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, (CME – HMF) Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; the Honorable Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson; the Honorable Minister for Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe; the Honorable Minister for the Environment, Mrs. Lawrencia Laraba Mamman; the Honorable Minister for Health, Dr Khaliru Hassan; the Honorable Minister of State for Agriculture, Hajiya Asmau Asabe Ahmed; the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Israel Oyemomi representing the Honorable Minister; The Managing Director Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Gabriel Amuchi representing the Honorable Minster of Works.
Categories of other stakeholders that graced the event were government agencies such as the Central Bank; the Diplomatic community; development partners such as Voices for Change, UN Women, DFID supported programmes such as SPARC & SAVI, World Bank; civil society organisations, private sector such as Procter and Gamble, Huawei; cross section of beneficiaries from the GWIN projects; representatives of women’s groups such as National Council for Women Societies etc. In all, about 800 people attended the Presidential Launch.
Below are captured testimonies of some of the GWiN beneficiaries.
‘We have learnt things about the computer that we never learnt even in our science classes. For instance how to dismantle and re-couple a computer’.
‘Because of President Jonathan, I can now move around freely within my community. I have also learnt how to take good care of myself’.
‘I was compelled to resign paid employment as an accountant in order to provide care for my young children. I started cat fish production and rice farming on a very small scale right behind my house. With fish fingerlings and feed provided through the GWiN programme, I now produce 15 tonnes of catfish from my earthen pots annually. The
Ministry also provided me with access to rice seedlings, fertilizers and also mechanized equipment such as combined harvester. Presently, I produce and package 120 tonnes of rice annually’.
‘We received training on how to process and package cassava. We also learnt how to produce odorless fufu with the processing machines and equipment were given under the GWiN programme. The odorless fufu is in
high demand and we are making a lot of money from it’.
‘Through GWiN we were trained on borehole maintenance. We have set up water kiosks in our communities which we also manage’.
‘We used to think that road construction and maintenance were for men only. Now I not only sew reflective jackets for those maintaining the roads I also carry out road repairs’.