Women Connect, ABU Partner on Advocacy for Technical, Vocational Education for Rural Girls

By Christiana Alvan

An NGO Women Connect Initiative, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gender Policy Unit of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to carry out Advocacy for Compulsory Technical Vocational Education for rural women and girls (ACTIVE 4 Women) in Kudan Local Government of Kaduna State.

The NGO with funding support from RiseUp is partnering with ABU, to launch advocacy in line with the Kaduna State Government plan to position rural women and girls to be financially independent and self-sufficient through education.

The MoU was signed in Zaria after a two day meeting with the Board of Trustees of Women Connect Initiative (WCI) and the Gender Policy Committee of the Ahmadu Bello University. The advocacy project follows the findings of the Gender Empowerment Index which places rural women and girls in Kudan as one of the vulnerable groups in terms of acquired skills, school drop-outs and early marriage.

While addressing the media after the meeting, the Director of Gender Policy Unit, ABU Zaria, Prof Binta Abdulkarim said that technical and vocational education has become imperative for the survival of rural women and girls.

“It is a known fact that Kaduna State Government is dedicated to girls’ education. Nevertheless, our advocacy is simple. We want the State Government to focus on technical and vocational education for rural girls and women. Kudan LGA is a concern for us because the numbers of school dropouts and women without skill-sets there is depressing.

“Rural women are one of the economically disadvantaged in Kaduna. A State law or bye-law to appropriate or enforce budgetary funds for LGAs to run TVE programs will suffice. The advocacy will start from Kudan then from there we intend to scale up to other LGAs in the state”, she said.

On her part, the Director, Women Connect Initiative, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika said that the advocacy program will, within the next five years, touch other LGAs in the state saying that rural women need to be empowered with TVE skills if Kaduna State is to emerge as the hub for commerce.

“Kaduna State Government is committed to making Kaduna as the centre of commerce, to achieve this, we need to emphasize training of rural women and girls on TVE to ensure that we create local economy that can drive the vision of the state.

“Funds budgeted for TVE needs to be used for TVE purposes in the different local government areas if we are to make progress”, she said.

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