LAGOS (Women Affairs Ministry Report) – President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has reiterated the need for women empowerment as well as involvement of more women in the socio-economic development of the country, saying this will bring about the achievement of maximum progress and development.
President Goodluck Jonathan represented by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Zainab Maina made the call while receiving an award from the Women Empowerment Leaders Award, a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Lady Mechanic Initiative (LMI) held on Thursday December 4, 2014 in Lagos. He expressed regret that women and girls have been disillusioned and unable to develop their full potentials due to stereotype in the past.
While commending the initiator of the Lady Mechanic Initiative, Sandra Aguebor Epkeruoh for creating an entry point for women into a male dominated business, he inferred that the endeavour has portrayed women as over – comers of the role stereotype.
“Let me commend the indefatigable lady – Sandra Aguebor Ekperuoh, NPOM for creating an entry point for women to one of the most lucrative enterprises which hitherto was dominated by men. I salute her courage and resilience considering what she must have gone through within the last ten years in a male dominated profession. It is an indication that women are gradually overcoming role stereotypes where in the past they were expected to aspire to professions like teaching, nursing among others,” he stated.
According to him, the Lady Mechanic Initiative has not only provided an intensive training programme for women, but life skill, coaching and income generation skills as well. He intensified that women in general, who live on the fringes of the society in Nigeria have been unable to educate themselves or find employment in non-traditional work such as construction and mechanic garages. Adding, many young girls as a result have become disillusioned and unable to develop their full potentials.
“The Lady Mechanic Initiative has not only provided an intensive training programme for women that is practical; but also life skill coaching and income generation skills that motivate young women to either start their own mobile garages, provide home services or find employment in the auto industry. Many of their graduates are working with world class companies such as Toyota Nigeria, Cummins Nigeria, Coscharis Motors, RT Briscoe, TATA Motors, MTN and Coca Cola among others,” he said.
He espoused on his efforts at women empowerment with various initiatives, including YouWin, Public Works and the Women / Youth Empowerment Scheme (PW/WYE) and SURE-P; saying 60 skill acquisition centres for women are under construction across the country.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Founder and Initiator of the Lady Mechanic Academy, Sandra Aguebor said that the Lady Mechanic Initiative was created to help young women escape the clutches of despair and poverty. She noted that more than 2,000 young women apply to the programme yearly, whilst provision has been made for only 150 trainees annually. .
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