Hello everyone! Its that time of the week again, where we get to learn about happenings in the development space. Today we are super excited to be having an article on female education for the first time on the blog. Have a great read!

Female Education is a catch-all term of a complex set of issues and debates surrounding education (primary education, secondary education, tertiary education, and health education in particular) for girls and women. It includes areas of gender equality and access to education, and its connection to the alleviation of poverty. 

Education systems and schools play a central role in determining girls’ interest in various subjects, including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, which can contribute to women’s empowerment by providing equal opportunities to access and benefit from quality STEM education.

A report shows that women in Nigeria are more involved than men in virtually all areas of agricultural activities ranging from farm clearing to processing. In spite of this, the women are still victims of a social order that treats them largely as second position role players. Thus, gender bias against women ranges from labor market discrimination to exclusion from policymaking.

This discrimination exacerbates poverty by preventing the majority of women from obtaining the credit, education, training, health services, child care and legal status needed to improve their prospects. One clear noted area of imbalance against women has been in the area of education. It is therefore not surprising that women’s inadequate access to education has been the source of the various discrimination and violence that they suffer.

Therefore, education is stressed to be the solution and a necessity in eliminating the barriers to female discrimination. Improving girls’ educational levels has been demonstrated to have clear impacts on the health and economic future of young women, which in turn improves the prospects of their entire community.

An educated woman has the skills, information, and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker, and citizen. When women are educated, the world becomes more prosperous. Therefore, it is essential to educate women in order to significantly alleviate poverty in the society; such that they become a voice and an instrument of improving global development.

Written by: Bukola Samuel, B.Sc

Economics graduate and volunteer at In Our Hands Initiative.


Hello everyone! I trust we have had a wonderful first quarter of the year? if no, not to worry the year only just got better for you!

On today’s episode of the Echoes series, we have an interesting topic “Empathy”. Wondering why we are talking empathy on a gender and development forum? You should find out soon enough. Keep reading.

Empathy is, at its simplest, awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It is a key element of Emotional Intelligence, the link between self and others because it is how we as individuals understand what others are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves.

Empathy goes far beyond sympathy, which might be considered ‘feeling for’ someone. Empathy, instead, is ‘feeling with’ that person, through the use of imagination. it is about defining, understanding, and reacting to the concerns and needs that underlie others’ emotional responses and reactions. Empathy is a skill that can be developed and, as with most interpersonal skills, empathizing (at some level) comes naturally to most people.

There are several elements of empathy but for the sake of this write up, we would discuss one.

  • Understanding others: This is perhaps what most people understand by ‘empathy’: “sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns”. Those who do this:
    • Tune into emotional cues. They listen well, and also pay attention to non-verbal communication, picking up subtle cues almost subconsciously Show sensitivity, and understand others’ perspectives.
    • Are able to help other people based on their understanding of those people’s needs and feelings.

You will agree with me that more empathy is displayed, the more peaceful our community gets. The more we all respect each other’s feelings and accept each other’s flaws. When we have empathy, we through our imaginations understand what people go through and then we know better than laughing at them, or mocking them or being violent. This way we, in turn, create an environment free from violence and gender inequality, here by creating a peaceful and just world!

Written by : Demilade Lawal

Thither… Hither

Hello everyone! We are super excited to share a write up by  Adeyemi-Bisileko O.A Esq that expresses his thought on violence and the need to rise up and make peace.

The year is 2300 and it’s almost Utopia. Nations have fought wars in the distant past, worn themselves weary and stretched to the brink of ruin, and thus have learnt to love themselves back to life.

Borders yet exist and the laws too, but they exist primarily for the welfare of each nation as it connects to a global vision that almost everyone agrees on and actively works on. There seemed to be no limits to what the world could achieve as one, but this path had been defined by blood, loss, sweat and death and everyone knew that this was no honeymoon or fairy tale with a guaranteed happy ending.

As a result there was ever a need to remind each person how far humanity could fall if there were no checks in place. It was agreed that a people known as the memory keepers be selected and their duty was to erect memorials in strategic parts of the world, stories told in remembrance of the fallen heroes and to educate the younger generation.

The lessons today were in form of what earthlings of that time called a throwback and it happened to be on a Thursday, one of the few phrases which had survived from a world that was only a couple of centuries away, yet in character could as well have been the Dark Ages.

Most meticulous were the memory keepers in ensuring that nothing akin to hate or apt to incite or provoke was shown to these impressionable minds, but yet the clips shown and history as it was taught sufficed to tell the children of where we had been as a globe.

Chief amongst the subjects taught and shown were the millennium goals of the last age and the obstacles that had been faced.  The adults would have needed no classes, but seeing how far we had gone, everyone needed to be reminded of our collective destination.  Viola’s violence against her younger brother all in the bid to correct his naughtiness, Tobi’s disregard for his wife’s feelings which venom was passed down to the children giving them a skewered view of family , the child often bullied because he was perceived as different with nerdy glasses and an uncanny ability to understand deeper concepts that only further pushed the child into isolation and valuing his company above all else, the grandmother who saw it fit to mutilate the genitals of her female grandchild in the bid to uphold tradition and keep her sexual drive in check, of the male child being the only male amongst female siblings who never had to learn the art of domestic chores and went through life thinking such beneath him and that the entire female gender existed for his pleasure and to do his bidding. Of the male child exposed to sexual discovery by an “aunt’’ and could never keep his raging hormones in check, and of a girl abused by her teacher and closed up, never seeing the light in herself less others again, of a society that hails the male for such discoveries achieved early and slut-shames the girl into silence, of the child ripped away from family and all that’s familiar to serve as a servant to the urban family. Books would fail to tell of the horrors seen by the child, of early wakings, tottering between near-starvation and barely eating, driven by a will and dreams bigger than himself/herself and late sleeping…

The list would be endless and the screen would fade into oblivion and the children would leave with a firmer resolve to brighten their world to a never-setting sun of equality.

With heavy breathing and pounding hearts would the humans all wake as ones tugged awake by a corpulent puppeteer, having dreamt the same thing.

This is the year 2018 and the United Nations 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is on, but ripples are already endless behind the scenes of organized marches. The space/time continuum has been broken and humanity shown a glimpse into the future if they continued life without making deliberate alterations to the known order of things.

Each is halted in his/her tracks, broken by catharsis and rising with a stronger resolve to amend their ways and make the world so much brighter and hand that baton to each generation….

With this, the future that holds peace and equity only as an aftermath to brutal war and upheavals begins to be extinguished now as men(generic) refuse to be bound to a future over which they have no say or control…

And even now rises the chant throughout the globe like a paean…We want peace now!!! We want equity now!!! We end violence now!!!!



Hello everyone, trust your October was just as awesome as ours!

We promised, and we delivered!

On the 26th of October, we had our first school tour to officially launch our campaign on the root cause of Gender based violence. Our first delivery location was Mighty Oaks School Ipaja,Lagos and we had 70 students in attendance.We exposed the students to various forms of gender based violence and how to identify them.

We started the first round of training with the students by giving them our worksheet to enable us know their preformed knowledge on gender based violence and how the students viewed the subject matter. The collated responses from this initial interaction showed that only 20% of the students knew something about gender based violence.

After this, we prepared the minds of the students through our experiential learning kit on the subject matter.

As an organization, we have a team of vibrant, vast and intelligent facilitators who took each class through our course work giving each child proper attention to enable them understand better. We made use of experiential learning kits because we know and believe that by using these methods the things we teach the children stick faster and better.


For the second session, we divided the students into groups and gave them activities to identify forms and root causes of gender based violence, to ensure a gender balanced atmosphere we asked the boys to read the forms of violence that affects girls and the girls did the same. This was to ensure that both parties understood what it means to be involved in the issues that concern both genders.

    During the third session, we gave the students a feedback form and we found out based on our analysis and evaluation, that 80% of the students compared to 20% at the beginning now fully understood what the subject matter was all about and how to identify it and what to do when faced with such situation. Here are some of the feed backs we got from the students ;

When I encounter Gender based violence, I will call for help.

I will report to an elderly person.

Thank you very much IOHI, I can now identify the various forms of violence


 IOHI did not come to play as we presented the school with a chart and books that summarized all that we taught the students on gender based violence.

Thanks to all our sponsors! 2019 will be bigger and better! We are proud to see the next generation of young people taking a decision to make the world a better place.






 As we move on in the 21st century, there are issues around Gender and Development that need more attention and deeper interrogation. It is obvious that there is inadequate involvement of youths and because of these there is sustainability risk in the struggle and emancipation of women and this makes the intergenerational linkage very weak.

It is interesting to note that all gender-related problems are not about women but there is a general misconception that it is about women. As a result of this, men are being left out consciously and unconsciously in programs, activities and activism relating to gender equality and how to deal with problems associated with it.

Given that, society privileges men and conversations around gender equality has been framed around increasing access to women rather than being about equal access. Furthermore, gender equality has had the tendency to be understood as activism rather being a gap in literature, development work and policy. Consequently, these conversations have seen men become defensive or would rather not want to be part of the conversation.

It is thus obvious that the gap gender analysts and activists need to bridge is the involvement or integration of both genders into program designs, policy designs and initiatives that are championed by international organizations and national governments.

It is these gaps that InOurHands Initiative intends to use as the focus of our interventions and activities with special emphasis on reconstruction of the mindset on issues relating to gender and development beginning with our immediate community and then to national and international level.

Written by:  Ms. Orejesu Ajayi (Founder, In our hands initiative)

Gender Equality and Economic Growth in South Africa.

This week on our echoes from around the world we are looking at South Africa.

Even though South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa, they still face gender equality issues.

When women live below the poverty line and are unable to work or contribute socially it prevents the economy from reaching its highest potential.

Gender Equality reflects in every sector of the economy. For example, a World Bank research shows that 37% of women in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa have a bank account compared to 48% of men. In the absence of genuine intervention, this gender gap will continue to widen in many African countries.

In South Africa in the area of technology, the number of females that graduate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related degrees is still very low. The reason for this is due to the fact that there is a huge wage gap and discrimination against female STEM graduates. We also know that they are not well recognized for their jobs, as well as their contributions to  the growth of their companies and the economy.

We also see women in the agricultural sector in South Africa suffer a great deal of inequality when it comes to  access to finance as well as agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, water and transportation to and from the markets and farms. This has resulted in majority of the women  engaging in subsistence farming due to limited access to resources and technical assistance.

In general, inadequate female representation in the workplace as well as in leadership positions continues to be a barrier to Gender Equality in South Africa. Economists have observed that a 10% reduction in gender gap in both representation and payroll will alleviate poverty for low income earners, which in return helps to boost the economic growth of South Africa. This is also in line with the observation of the chief Economist of PWC  Africa, Lullu Krugel who said: “Enormous economic opportunity lies in promoting gender workforce equality”. This should be the new focus of African Governments and the Africa Union Commission (AUC) as we move towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

Written by Orejesu Ajayi



This week on our Echoes from around the world, we will be kicking off with Kenya’s lets talk campaign popularly known as TUONGEE.

Gender-based violence has become a major threat to global development. According to the World Health Organization, about one third of women worldwide have experienced violence. There is an increased risk of HIV when the violence is from an intimate partner.

In Kenya, a recent study found that 32% of young women aged 18–24 years and 18% of their male counterparts experience sexual violence before the age of 18. Gender-based violence reduces the bargaining power to negotiate safer sex, stay on treatment or remain in school. In 2013, statistics gotten by the police service in Kenya showed that 3,596 defilement cases; 913 of rape and 242 of incest. The shocking part is that girls living with disabilities are not left out of this violence as the perpetrators do not allow them go scot free.

In other to end gender-based violence in Kenya, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), together with the Kenya Medical Women’s Association and the Kenya Women Judges Association, and partners, launched the Tuongee (Let’s Talk) Campaign on 25th of May 2018 at an event hosted by Nicolas Nihon, the Ambassador of Belgium to Kenya and UNFPA.

Speaking at the launch, Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, said, “Gender-based violence and HIV are linked epidemics. If we are to deal with it, we must address the structural barriers that drive violence.” He spoke about the need to equip young women with the skills and capacities to make informed decisions about their health and underscored the critical importance of engaging boys and men early to change behaviors and challenge norms that allow gender-based violence to persist.

Written by Orejesu Ajayi

Source: UNAIDS


We are a youth-led non-governmental organisation set out to advancing human rights, advocating for gender equality, enhancing quality education through policy and developmental strategies.

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