For the awareness campaign against violence against women, I would like to write about the contribution of the Office National de Formation Professionnelle (ONFP), translated as the National Office of Vocational Training in connection with my mandate. Since I am a training engineering consultant, it is only natural for me to talk about training given by the Office in relation to this subject. The ONFP has been asked to provide training by different organizations working with more vulnerable clienteles, including abused women.

The example I would like to refer to at the moment is a training program to be held shortly for women from the Fonds National de crédits pour les femmes (FNCF), translated as National Women’s Credit Fund.

The fund’s mission is :

  • Set up a structured credit line and financing system and organized to help them develop productive and income-generating activities
  • Strengthen, through training, the managerial capacities of women beneficiaries
  • Propel women to formal entrepreneurship
  • Create spaces for project incubators in niche markets
  • Contribute to the fight against the feminization of poverty, the development of women’s leadership and the support of women’s organizations and networks.

As UnWomen explains (2017):

Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.

But they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Gender discrimination means women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. It curtails access to economic assets such as land and loans. It limits participation in shaping economic and social policies. And, because women perform the bulk of household work, they often have little time left to pursue economic opportunities.

(Source : http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment)

 

The increase in the economic power of women is very positive. Moreover, if they find themselves in a harmful situation where they are very dependent, strengthening their skills can help them to carry out an income-generating activity and provide for their needs. Thus, their living and working conditions will be better.

Indeed, many women, who carry economic projects, sometimes ignore the most basic rudiments of the practice of business management. They often have no approach or guidance document to evaluate, make profitable and sustain their activities.

I applaud the efforts of the National Women’s Credit Fund in Senegal and by providing training to these women, the ONFP, in its own way, says no to the feminization of poverty, and therefore, no to violence against women.