By Ene Osang
Mentees of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) in response to the call for women to double up efforts into leadership positions recently organised a sensitization workshop for young girls in Secondary School.
The workshop tagged ‘’Project Kadara; meaning our girls our assets’’ organised at the Government Secondary School in Jabi, Abuja, was aimed at grooming a successor generation of girls and encourage them to aspire for positions of leadership in their respective communities in the near future.
According to the mentees, it is also to promote the concept of fair gender responsiveness, gender inclusion and build leadership capacities among different genders in Secondary Schools.
Speaking on leadership, one of the mentees Abiodun Essiet urged the girls to take up leadership positions even in their classrooms, saying this will groom them to leadership positions in the future as it will enable them have the qualities of a good leader
She added that self confidence is key to greater heights, urging the students particularly the girls to be outspoken as well as utilise every opportunity to show their efficiency.
Another mentee Gbemisola Ojobode, enlightened the students on politics and urged them to endeavor to participate when they come of age.
According to her politics is not for men alone and also not only when it involves big positions but almost everywhere there is need for a leader, stressing the importance of early interest on political participation.
In her goodwill message, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the fund Olufunke Baruwa, noted the gender inequality that has continued to exist when it comes to leadership and political positions, and called for a change in the manner elections are run in the country.
Baruwa pointed out that both gender have equal rights to aspire for political position, adding that ‘everyone deserves a shot at leadership.’
She however said women face challenges in politics because they don’t know the gimmicks involved early, hence the need to create awareness on young girls and encourage them into politics even as students.
“We are changing the narrative for leadership positions, elections have to be issue based that if you have ideas that can better the country its citizenry such person should be given the opportunity to lead rather than because of the money you have.
“Women run from politics because of violence, money politics, and again the kind of orientation we have over the years made everyone believe that leadership is for men alone.
“I urge every 18year olds to go register and get their voters card. Both men and women should note for a leader of their choice based on what solution they can bring and not because of their gender or financial strength. We have to change the one gender style of leadership,’’ she said.
Representative of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Education Board Mrs. Laraba Okah, lauded the early political and leadership awareness on school children, describing the programme as timely.
She maintained that much more needed to be done to enable more women occupy leadership positions, saying the percentage of women in positions compared to the men is discouraging.
This is what girls need and it is time to begin to sensitize many more girls, let the awareness be created so they can be informed about happenings in their community and the country.
‘’It is important to begin to prepare these young girls to join politics in the future so there can be gender balance,’’ she said.
Earlie, the Vice Principal of the school Mallam Bello noted that both the male and female gender are unique and need each other to live in the society.