Women's Empowerment

NIFAA is committed to transformative strategies that focus on women's potential to contribute to national impact, engaging men to take part. This is particularly imperative within a culture where domestic violence and female genital cutting are prevalent, and most women hold little to no decision making power within the household. According to 2013 NDHS data, fewer than half of married women in Nigeria are empowered to make decisions about their health care. This underscores the critical need to target men—the decision makers—with persuasive and culturally appropriate messaging that builds support for women’s health and care seeking behaviors.

The Method

NIFAA has and will continue to train faith leaders in the use of Koranic and Biblical verses to demonstrate that gender equality is consistent with the religious doctrines, and disseminate female supportive messaging through their sermons. Women currently account for 30% of all NIFAA trained faith community health mobilizers, with a target to increase this number to 40% by 2017. In line with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency's strategy, NIFAA will target women and mother’s groups associated with mosques and churches for inclusion in messaging. When women are empowered to promote the national health agenda in their communities, they become part of the national dialogue and feedback loop that influences national and even global health strategy. NIFAA is actively involved with the Federal Ministry of Health National Working Group for Reproductive Health Policy, and is developing a project with UNICEF to address girl-child education in Northern Nigeria.

Partners