Saraki’s wife, Toyin calls for empowerment of women, girls

Adejoke Adeogun
Adejoke Adeogun
Toyin Saraki

Wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki, has canvassed the need to empower women and adolescent girls through education and elimination of domestic violence.

Mrs. Saraki who is also the Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) – a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – made the appeal while speaking at the second African Philanthropy Forum (APF) 2015 conference, in Kigali, Rwanda Wednesday.

“Girl’s education has been recognised as a vital tool for both development and empowerment. Yet, across the world, 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of secondary school age are out of school, with sub-Saharan Africa suffering the lowest proportion of countries with gender parity in education.

‘We must overcome this gender divide in education because education empowers women and girls by helping them achieve other basic human rights and breaking generational poverty cycles,’ she stated.

She further advocated that implementable global efforts to be made to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 5), dedicated to gender equality.

On the issue of violence against women, Mrs. Saraki stated that, “Domestic violence has a culture of silence that must be addressed. Education and healthcare providers represent the best avenue to address domestic violence especially for adolescent girls’.

She also moderated a session with the theme ‘Ensuring Her Place in the World’ where the panel stimulated discussion on the key levers for philanthropy that are needed to increase gender balance and promote inclusive societies.

The panel – that included Phuti Mahanyele, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shanduka Group; and Judith Owigar, Co-founder and President of Akirachix – all agreed that more work needs to be done to ensure gender equality, a critical factor in improving overall productivity at the local and national level.

An affiliate of the Global Philanthropy Forum, the African Philanthropy Forum’s 2015 Conference serves to examine the key facets capable of strengthening the capacity of Africa’s human capital and talent and the special role that philanthropy can play in advancing this goal.

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