After being trained by the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), some female artisans have expressed their readiness to join in harnessing economic opportunities in the nation’s construction industry.

The beneficiaries, who were trained under NCWD’s female artisanship programme, said on Friday in Abuja, that the skills acquired would enable females to be useful in the industry.

The female artisans, who spoke separately at the 2021 centre’s graduation ceremony of 130 trainees, expressed willingness to be part of an industry, that had been dominated by males.

Mrs Goodness Emmanuel, a beneficiary from Enugu State noted that women had not been represented in the industry, adding that few ones in the industry, were outstanding in their performances.

Emmanuel, a mother of three, who trained in tilling and masonry, said she’d had been trained to work in places where religious and cultural beliefs prevent men from living with women.

” The training was impactful and the experts drilled us very well on how to make our work neat and outstanding for career growth, especially in a male-dominated industry.

”And if you look at the northern part of the country, where they don’t allow men to enter their women’s houses, we are at an advantage there to do better work for our women and have better opportunity to excel in our skill.

”This training will not only allow us to carry out basic maintenance, installation work and compete with the male counterparts, but will also provide a source of livelihood and improve the nation’s economy,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Mrs Aisha Auwal, said that her decision to venture into repairs of generating sets and maintenance was to correct the notion that some jobs were for men alone.

Auwal, a mother of five, thanked  NCWD for the opportunity given to them to acquire skills that had empowered her and other beneficiaries.

According to her, female artisans will take over the construction industry and remove all existing stereotypes.

Earlier, NCWD Director-General, Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, said that the centre had been training women and girls, under its Female Economic Empowerment Training (FEET), since 2016.

Vilita-Bashir said that over 300 young women had so far benefited from the artisanship training programme, that was meant to promote gender inclusiveness and response.

”The artisanship jobs such as tilling and masonry, air condition and refrigeration, generator repairs, electrical works, plumbing and piping, have long been seen as male preserves and in the past, gender-biased.

” However, NCWD, noted paucity of skilled artisans in the construction industry, and also noted that the performance in the sector has nothing to do with the sex of individuals, and in response designed the project, “Residential Capacity Building for Female Artisans,” she said.

According to her, the various skill acquisition programmes are part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nine-point agenda of bringing 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Vilita-Bashir, who enjoined other stakeholders to support social inclusion and gender development, urged the female artisans to cascade the skills acquired by others in their communities.

Mrs Ebi Emezue, NCWD’s Director of Training and Development, said that the training was aimed at job creation, as well as enhancing women engagement in economic activities.

He added that the training was also meant to change stereotypes around the ability of females in doing well in non-traditional trades.

The beneficiaries were also presented with awards of Grade three Trade Test certificates, starter packs and stipends. (NAN)

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