Vital Voices strongly condemns the kidnapping of more than 276 innocent girls in Nigeria.
We stand with the rest of the world in calling for their immediate and safe return.
Vital Voices has worked with women leading change in Nigeria since 1998. It is at times like these when those on the front lines of progress need us the most, and why the solidarity and collective power of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network is so important.
We stand with women like Hafsat Abiola-Costello and Amy Oyekunle of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND); Professor Hawa Biu working on the ground in Bornu; Chigoziri Ojiaka and the women lawyers of FIDA Nigeria; and many others, working throughout the country at all levels not only to protect women and girls, but to change the overall political and economic environment that foments instability and insecurity and allows such violence to occur.
While the kidnapping and trafficking of more than 276 girls has made global headlines, we are aware that the situation is much deeper and systemic, and requires our attention and support not only now, but well into the future.
We plan to help support this effort through a yearlong grant to KIND. This grant would provide training for women leaders from Borno on advocacy on security issues and technical assistance on post trauma support for the kidnapped girls and their families.
We support women leaders who are working to transform their nation into one where women and girls are not only secure, but also free. We support the call for Nigeria’s policymakers to make the girls’ return – and the nation’s overall security – the top priority.
Watch Hafsat Abiola-Costello, founder of KIND, and Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, both members of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, talk to Katie Couric about the current crisis in Nigeria HERE.