On this year’s International Women’s Day, CISCOPE’s media team seeks to have a fresh perspective on how women seem to thrive in what is usually termed a “male dominated world”, in the area of career and other pursuits. This time we decided to interview one of our own, Pricilla Elle Oyindo. She shares her experience on how she has been faring as a humanitarian and development worker. She talked about her challenges and also shed light on the plight of women in places she has been in the line of duty. Enjoy. Photo by V-REX MEDIA

Priscilla stands with a farmerCISCOPE media team: May we meet you?

Priscilla: My name is Priscilla Elle Onyindo, I am the MEAL officer for CISCOPE

CISCOPE media team: we know you have been part of most of the implementation of CISCOPE’s projects in north east Nigeria, please tell us what your experience have been like?

 

[PRISCILLA (RIGHT) STANDS WITH A FARMER IN YOBE STATE] 

Priscilla: It hasn’t been easy, given the fact that most of these projects have to be carried out in remote areas of the north east, what we call “hard to reach locations” in the three most affected states, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Sometimes having to go through the rigours of plying very bad roads and all that, but with the support of my organisation, providing necessary logistics and good working conditions, it has been worthwhile. This goes to show that with the right support, women can thrive in their chosen career.

CISCOPE media team: Today is International Women’s Day and given the fact that you are a humanitarian, assisting women in rural areas, what do you have to say about the condition of women in our society today, with regards to areas you have visited?

Priscilla: Women are still being marginalised economically, culturally, politically and most especially in education. For instance, it is known that women make up over 60% of the agriculture workforce of our nation, in most cases they are the sole economic providers of their homes, yet in some cultures they are not allowed to own or even inherit land – the same land they till to produce food for their communities. Another worrisome issue is that in quite a number of communities in the north east where I have been opportune to visit in the course of my work, most of them do not encourage educating the girl child; most parents in this region see sending girls to school as waste of resources. They will prefer to send the girl to farm with their mothers or want them to engage in some other form priscillaof domestic duties like fetching water or firewood, while the male child goes to school. This is unacceptable! Young women are not given the opportunity to acquire basic education. And there is also a major problem of early marriage in this part of the country which tends to jeopardise the future of women.

CISCOPE media team: Finally, what do you think is the way out of this quagmire you have painted?

Priscilla: First of all, there is need for intense advocacy, not just by NGOs and CSOs but from everyone. Authorities, both traditional and religious leaders need to know that it is beneficial to give women opportunities to thrive in the society. I say that because these traditional and religious leaders are the closest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Priscilla displays a placard in support of women farmers

to the people. There is need for proper and urgent re-orientation. Secondly, government needs to enact and enforce policies that frown at practices that tend to deprive and subjugate women and the girl child. Women should not just be seen as only meant for reproduction and “tools” for cheap labour, but they should be supported and given opportunities like the male folks to maximise their potentials. Thank you.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

…towards a poverty-free Nigeria

ABOUT CISCOPE

logo mainCivil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE) is a grouping of over eighty five (85) Nigerian civil society organizations with at least a member in every state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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