Home Youth empowerment How JAN and Union Bank Support Nigerian Girls’ Leadership and Empowerment Programs

How JAN and Union Bank Support Nigerian Girls’ Leadership and Empowerment Programs


A non-profit organization, Junior Achievement of Nigeria (JAN) and Union Bank have dedicated a significant part of their sustainability mission to ensuring that young girls and women in Nigeria have unlimited opportunities to thrive in society. .

The two organizations have, for eight years, forged a strategic partnership to advance JAN’s Leadership Empowerment Development (LEAD) camp intervention program, a long-standing initiative to inspire and empower young people. girls to become high-performing women leaders.

The latest edition of LEAD Camp – the 8th collaboration between JAN and Union Bank – held recently in Lagos saw the participation of over 300 girls.

The week-long event was used to provide guidance and improve girls’ skills in the areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, technology, coding, career development, health and business. general well-being, sexual and reproductive health, creative arts and entertainment.

During the program, the girls learned and received mentorship from some outstanding women in the private and public sectors across the globe – courtesy of Junior Achievement of Nigeria’s association with its global counterpart, Junior Achievement Worldwide ( JAW).

The program, now in its 21st year, has played a significant role in the development and career advancement of more than 1,000 girls in Nigeria, nurturing influential alumni such as Nkechi Eze-Balogun, founder by Asoebi Bella; Oduolayinka Osunloye, Youth Advisor at IREX; Oyin Olugbile-Adewale, founder of Parisian Consult; among others.

JAN’s Executive Director, Foluso Gbadamosi, said in her address, “The LEAD camp aims to demonstrate that regardless of their socio-economic status, background or career path, young girls and women can succeed with the right advice, the mindset, the skills and the network, and we will continue to inspire them and provide them with a world of possibilities to thrive.

According to Gbadamosi, this explains why the United Nations (UN), in its efforts towards a sustainable world in 2030, dedicates Goal 5 of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieving gender equality. and empowerment of all women and girls.

Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Head of Brand and Marketing at Union Bank, said, “This partnership reinforces our commitment to promoting gender equality and our goal to support girls. We are proud to see the impact of the program on young girls across the country, and we salute the efforts of the JAN team who work tirelessly to impact them.

According to Ekezie-Ekaidem, for African countries that are determined to achieve the UN gender parity goal in less than a decade, JAN and Union Bank have laid out a plan worthy of emulation. She added that this portends hope that the dream of a gender equal world may indeed become a reality in the near future.

Program partners agreed that the success of initiatives such as LEAD Camp is a vital indicator of the progress that Africa and Nigeria can achieve if more public and private organizations, independent societal bodies and individuals are turned into the future play similar active roles in ensuring that women and girls enjoy an equal playing field in society.

Gender inequality poses a major threat to economic, social and global development. Gender discrimination is considered to have a huge impact on the ability of nations to achieve economic growth, while its psychological effects – low self-esteem, stress and trauma – on those affected make it one of the most critical challenges in the world to overcome.

While progress towards establishing a world of equal rights and opportunities for all genders is still slow and a big hurdle for many nations, achieving gender parity should take center stage in global efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to a UN Women report, in 2020 the number of employed women decreased by 54 million. This is despite the fact that they, compared to their male counterparts, have fewer opportunities to land well-paid jobs. It is therefore not surprising that they are also generally at a greater risk of falling into poverty, as evidenced by the statistics that almost 60% of women work in the informal economy and that approximately 435 million women and girls around the world live in extreme poverty.

To this end, LEAD camp partners believe that providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and will also benefit societies and humanity as a whole.

Fortunately, in Nigeria, deliberate efforts to reduce gender inequalities for societal and national growth have been initiated by well-meaning organizations like JAN, Union Bank and others, with a focus on education, empowerment and liberation of women and girls.


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