A group University of Maiduguri Muslim Women Association (UMMWA) has complained that the Boko Haram insurgency which has pervaded the North-eastern region has made many women and girls beggars in the area.
The coordinator of the group established to foster unity at the university community, Hajiya Hassana Ibrahim Waziri, said it is alarming the rate at which women and girls are now begging on the streets of Maiduguri due to the insurgency affecting the state.
Hajiya Hassana who was speaking at the weekend in aiduguri at a workshop organized for domestic and casual women workers of the university, said one of the objectives of the group is to discourage street begging by women and girls.
According to her, the workshop was organized in partnership with the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme(NSRP), to inculcate savings culture 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 meager 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”
“This skill development when acquired will pave way for better support to their families and may substantially reduce rampant cases of begging and reduce certain violence against them” she added.
Hajiya Hassana explained that majority of the women casual workers are now bread winners of their families as their husbands have either been killed or abducted due to the insurgency.
“There is no doubt that the insurgency has brought upon citizens of Borno and the North-east in general numerous and tragic experiences especially on women and girls who suffer the most traumatic and unbearable hardships due to their vulnerability at times of crisis. This is more distinct when they lose their husbands, guardians or children who are mostly bread winners of the family” she said
She added that the women will be divided into groups to form cooperatives so that they can be registered and have access to loan from micro finance banks.
She explained that more than 500 women were targeted for the workshops which were in series while 333 women have already participated.