Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
A group known as the University of Maiduguri Muslim Women Association, UMMWA, has raised an alarm over the plight of women and girls in the Northeast zone whom they say have been forced into begging after looking their breadwinners to the five-years-long Boko Haram insurgency.
The group which is coordinated by Hassana Ibrahim Waziri, said that the insurgency has brought “hardship” upon citizens of Borno State and the Northeast in general, but pointed out that women and children who are most vulnerable have been particularly affected.
As part of its contribution towards the needs of the victims of insurgency, the group at the weekend organised a workshop in Maiduguri for domestic and casual women workers of the university in order to discourage street begging among them.
Waziri said the workshop was organized in partnership with the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP, to inculcate the culture of saving and investment in the women and girls working as domestic workers at the university.
“This workshop is intended to enlighten the women and girls on inculcating the habit of savings and investments even at times of insecurity out of the meagre income. But, in particular, this workshop is going to explore and develop the women’s capacity that will assist them utilize their skills to engage in other income generating activities so that they can actively participate in viable economic ventures that will empower them to reduce poverty,” the group leader said.
She added that the participants will be divided into groups to form cooperatives so that they can be registered and have access to loans from micro finance banks.
The group targets more than 500 women for the workshop which is to be carried out in batches. So far 333 women have participated in the programme.