CREATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM STUDENTS ON #IWD2021

POEM

Give Her a Chance

Give her a chance to speak

Give her a chance to gather her thoughts

How long will she be tied to the kitchen?

How long will African women be hidden in shells?

How long will the culture make her different?

How long will this discrimination continue?

How long will she be forced to keep silent even though there are a thousand thoughts in her mind?

 

This cannot go on forever

This indifference must stop

She will no longer be silent

 

Oh! All she wants is a chance

To make decisions about her body, career, and future.

 

Oh! African women must rise up

Remember that we are life-givers, magic mentors, and mothers of nations.

 

The world is waiting for her

Waiting for her ideas on how it can become a better place

She is important

She can contribute to nations to progress

 

The president sit is empty

The governor sit is empty

The business sector needs a new leadership

 

Oh! Give her a chance

She is loaded with power

She is gifted with amazing intellect

She has the key to succeed

SHE CAN DO IT

 

Just give her a chance.

-ALABI MOJISOLA, SS3 

 

ESSAY

Women in Leadership Positions

The world is in desperate need of great leaders, whether in business or in politics. Yet, many leadership opportunities are withheld from half of the workforce. We are talking about women in leadership positions, even with all the progress we have made for equality in many important ways, women are still severely underrepresented in business and leadership positions.

This inequality could be in part because not everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding the importance of women in leadership positions. Some believe that women should be capable of reaching leadership positions on their own, while others do not understand what makes women suited for the job. 

Many businesses and industries are waking up to the reality that women in leadership positions do not only bring important benefits, but that they are an absolutely valuable and irreplaceable resource in the office, in the boardroom, at the senate floor, at the podium, and at the head of the table. 

The helpful ways we can have more women in leadership positions are;

  • acknowledge the leadership strength and contributions of women
  • provide women with the educational and training resource
  • give women opportunities to excel within the organization and their careers

Ultimately, the problems we are facing are not technological, but human. The human system is broken. More still needs to be done to give all women the best possible chance of rising to the top, if that happens, then I will be the first to say who is in charge does not matter a jot. 

-CHRISTIANA IBIAM, SS1 

 

POEM

A Woman of Substance

I wouldn’t have come to this world

If  not for a woman beyond words

I wouldn’t have become who I am today

If not for a woman who did it yesterday

 

Oh! women are great treatures

so valuable that I cannot measure

People said her office was in the kitchen

But never knew to her it was a prison 

If there was war with so much violence

She would intervene with silence

Humanity was created eqaully

So she asks herself why are we differentiated?

 

A skinny black girl can dream of being a president

Only to find herself living in the residence

 

We can only reach the peak togerther 

Because what a man can do a woman can do too

We will be strong and fight for our rights

And we shall achieve this with all our might

 

You are a true woman of substance 

And a big salute to you

Happy Women’s day

Thank you for being pure and true.

 

-ELOY DANIEL, SS2

 

POEM

Oh woman

Oh female

Oh sister

Oh girls

Oh giver of life, women of hard labour

Oh mother, cares for you more than anyone does

Oh mother, cares for you for nine months with an unbearable pain

Oh mother the precious gift you ever had

Women of willingness, women to defend

Giver of life

Women of power, women of loyalty

Oh mother she is like a friend

Oh mother the woman who brought you to earth

Oh mother even dies for her children 

Women of heritage

Oh women the love you truly have

-Muyideen Joshua, basic 5. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VSI CELEBRATES IWD2021: #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE

Every march 8th is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Beyond marking March 8 as International Women’s Day, Vision Spring Initiatives is committed to ensuring equal access to resources for women and girls to enable them to take leadership positions in all sectors.

The theme for this year is Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world seeks to stress the importance of having women in leadership positions and being part of the decision-making processes at global, regional, and national levels during the pandemic. The #ChoosetoChallenge is aimed to expose various issues such as traditional harmful practices, violence against women and girls, gender roles, sexual harassment in the workplace, etc., that have served as barriers for women in taking leadership positions.

On March 5 and 10, 2021, VSI commemorated the IWD2021 with secondary school students of Sceptre Comprehensive College and DE Keepers School respectively in Lagos. The program was designed to have the students make presentations in form of storytelling, art, spoken words, poetry, and essay writing on the role of women in achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world. The purpose of the event was to have a range of creative contributions from the students on how women and girls can play important roles in achieving an equal future.

The students within the age range of 12-16 submitted and presented valuable and creative pieces in different forms of art which were captured by two television media stations present.

With VSI’s #GirlImpact Project, our focus is to educate, inform and transform the mindset of adolescents and young people from gender roles and its limitations to the superiority of choice and human rights. Our weekly engagements with the students provide the platform to engage meaningfully on issues that will help them learn, unlearn and relearn.

As we move forward from March 8, we use this opportunity to urge the government to commit funding to effective programs on how to achieve an equal future in a covid-19 world especially for adolescents and young people. 

CATCH UP WITH VSI #GIRLIMPACT PROJECT

Last year, Vision Spring Initiatives commenced its #GirlImpact Project. After 3 days of intensive training of 12 female volunteers on comprehensive sexuality education and other Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues, we partnered with two secondary schools in two local government areas in Lagos state- Kosofe and Ikorodu. The LGAs selected were from the VSI survey on identifying major areas with high teenage pregnancy and low awareness on comprehensive sexuality education. 

According to the 2018 National Demographic Health survey, the percentage of young women age 18-24 who had sexual intercourse before age 18 decreases with increasing education, from 82% among those with no education to 17% among those with more than secondary education. These figures necessitate an early intervention on the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of young people.

Participants listening attentively during a session at De-Keepers Secondary School, Ikorodu.

The #GirlImpact project is aimed to primarily educate senior secondary schoolgirls on comprehensive sexuality education. This will enable them to make informed choices and decisions around engaging in sexual activities. The National Demographic Health Survey in 2018 also shows that 19% of women initiate sexual intercourse by age 15 and 57% by age 18. By age 20, 7 out of 10 women have had sexual intercourse. Without adequate knowledge on sexuality and provision of safe spaces and access to health services, young women and girls are left to make wrong choices which can be detrimental to their health and hindrance to continuous formal education.

 The #GirlImpact project also includes senior secondary schoolboys to create a balanced capacity building on comprehensive sexuality education. Other ancillary beneficiaries of the project are parents, teachers, and community members of the two schools’ locations. 

Participants listening attentively at Sceptre Comprehensive College, Kosofe. 

As of March 2021, the #GirlImpact project has had 32 sessions in the two schools from September 2020. Topics treated so far are Self Esteem, Introduction to Gender and Sex and Introduction to Human Rights. The students have participated in various creative activities such as poem, drawing, drama and other activities to express what they have learnt. We have also organized a celebrity guest appearance to encourage the students in the two schools. 

In March 2021, VSI celebrated International Women’s Day in the two schools where the students discussed the ways to have more women in leadership positions in every sector. The event was covered by two media houses, Television Continental (TVC) and Arise TV. 

To get weekly updates on our #GirlImpact project, follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @VSI_ng.