A non-governmental organisation, known as Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), at the weekend urged Bayelsa women to start utilizing their socio-cultural and economic rights in the society in order to be self-reliant.
Speaking during an entrepreneurship training organised by the NGO, with support from the Embassy of The Netherlands in Nigeria, for Bayelsa West Senatorial District women at Sagbama, the Programme Director of the group, Styvn Obodoekwe urged the participants, who were mainly peasant farmers, artisans and petty traders, to endeavour to make good use of the knowledge acquired during the training.
Some of the participants, however, said that they opted for petty trading, rather than remaining at home as full time housewives in order to achieve economic self-reliance.
Stella Mariah, one of the participants at the training said: “I started a petty business with a very small amount of money and started nurturing the business. Today, I no longer depend on my husband for the provision of basic needs. I rather contribute to the family upkeep. I also give out loans to people.”
In his opening remarks, David Vareba, Head of Human Rights at CEHRD, pointed out that over dependence of women on men has been part of the reasons for the increased incidences of violence against women recorded during the COVID 19 lock down.
Vareba said: “We believe that empowering women with basic entrepreneurship skills as well as mentoring them in business will help pull them out of being over dependent on men and by so doing, help reduce gender-based domestic violence that results from economic pressures.”
Facilitating the training, Franklin Nelson, an entrepreneurship expert, noted that in addition to making wealth for the entrepreneur, entrepreneurship takes care of key issues like self-reliance, self-promotion, improvement of livelihood and improving community standards among others.