Authors: Oluwaseun Abimbola, Opeyemi Ajibola, Samuel Sijuade, and Iyeyinka Kusi-Mensah
Since its inception, the ARISE&WIN project’s Principal Investigator, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun, has championed the spirit of collaboration and co-production, encapsulated in her recurrent use of the phrase, “Nothing for us, without us.” This project culture has been the motivation for the team’s recent visits to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Inclusion in Oyo State.
Team Delegates’ Visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion
On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, a delegation comprising Postdoctoral Fellows Dr. Opeyemi Ajibola and Dr. Oyeteju Odufuwa, Programme Coordinator, Mr. Timothy Ibe, and Communications and Research Uptake Manager, Mr. Oluwaseun Abimbola, embarked on a fact-finding visit to the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion. The mission was to gather vital information regarding the domestication of the National Gender Policy and National Social Protection Policy. During the hour-long meeting, the delegation engaged with representatives from the Ministry, including Mrs. Gbadesire, the decision-maker on the ARISE&WIN Project, and various directors, social workers, and assistants. Diverse topics were explored, and representatives of the Ministry were able to talk about various programmes that they had put in place to address issues such as gender-based violence, promote inclusivity, and provide support to vulnerable individuals. This visit served as a significant milestone, laying the groundwork for the subsequent courtesy visit led by Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS on June 2, 2023, and reinforcing the shared commitment to collaboration.
Courtesy Visit to the Ministry of Women Affairs in Oyo State, led by the Principal Investigator
On June 2, 2023, the ARISE&WIN Principal Investigator, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun led members of the team including the full-time staff and the self-employed women peer consultants on a courtesy visit to the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion. The objective of the visit was to foster collaboration between the ARISE&WIN Project and the Ministry, as both organizations have a shared vision to improve conditions for women and children in Nigeria.
During the meeting, Professor Omigbodun introduced the various members of the ARISE&WIN Team and underscored the aim of the project to co-produce interventions that would foster the job quality and wellbeing of self-employed young women. Professor Omigbodun also emphasized the pressing need for improved support systems and highlighted the transformative impact that empowering women can have on society.
The delegation was met with warmth and gratitude by Mrs. Grace Oderinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs. Mrs. Oderinde reiterated the paramount importance of supporting women and children as a cornerstone of building a prosperous society. Drawing from her own experiences as a Civil Servant, she shared the administrative challenges she had encountered while advocating for positive social change. Yet, her unwavering optimism shone through as she expressed her belief in the potential of the collaboration between the ARISE&WIN Project and the Ministry, recognizing the profound improvements it could bring to the lives of women, children, and the broader community.
Towards the end of the meeting, Mrs. Oderinde led the ARISE&WIN team to a space within one of the Ministry’s facilities, situated between the Oyo State Secretariat and the College of Medicine, which could be potentially co-developed to become a space for the delivery of interventions being developed on the ARISE&WIN project. Through these meetings between the ARISE&WIN project and the Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, a robust partnership is being forged, founded on shared commitments to supporting women’s empowerment and improving conditions for women and children in Nigeria.