The US mission in Nigeria has commended the Orange Fellowship Program for its contribution and commitment to improving women’s representation in leadership and politics.
U.S. Consulate Education USA Adviser, Adeola Adejumobi, said this while giving remarks at the close out ceremony of the 2021 Orange Fellowship program held in American Corner Calabar.
She noted that women’s empowerment and integration into politics is key into Nigeria’s long-term development and the US Mission in Nigeria is confident that the Orange fellows will continue to work for a stronger Nigeria.
“If there’s going to be a change to low female participation in politics, then issues of concern to women must draw the interest and resources they deserve. Women’s empowerment and integration into politics are key into Nigeria’s long-term development. I am confident that your participation in this fellowship has provided you with tools, best practices, support networks and other avenues for you to advocate for increased women participation in politics. Although this fellowship is ended, the US mission is confident that you will continue to advocate for gender equality and increased female representation at your university, the University of Calabar and across all levels of governance”
Taking to its social media platforms, the US Mission said “the United States remains committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Delighted to host the closing ceremony of the inaugural Orange Fellowship at the American corner in Calabar.
Through the Orange Fellowship, a spin-off of the Orange show on Hit FM Calabar, 13 emerging female student leaders from the University Of Calabar participated in a 3 month mentorship program on advocating for gender equality and increased women’s representation at their university and across all levels of governance. We wish them all the best as they champion the cause for a more equitable and politically stronger Nigeria”
The Orange Fellowship program, a brain child of broadcast journalist and gender rights advocate, Abenmire Adi, is designed to Strengthen women’s rights’ advocacy work at the campus levels, Promote the involvement of women and girls in politics through mindset reorientation and involvement in on-campus politics as a headway, prepare young activists for the challenges entailed in working for gender justice among others.
The program which kicked off in August 2021, came to a successful end with the Close out ceremony held on November 13th 2021 at American Corner, Calabar, Cross River state.
On her part, key note speaker at the fellowship’s close out ceremony, former Nigerian ambassador to Ethiopia and founder of the Gender and Development Action (GADA) Nigeria, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo charged fellows to be confident and rise up to the challenge of speaking up and working for gender justice including increased female representation in leadership and politics.
Convener of the Orange Fellowship Program, Abenmire Adi, revealed that the Orange Fellowship was born out of information gaps identified after one year of hosting the Orange Show on radio and was created to improve knowledge of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) as well as foster efforts to change negative gender stereotypes and narratives by interfacing with selected fellows.
While disclosing that the name, “Orange” was inspired by the United Nations Orange the world campaigns to end violence against women and girls, she further said “ the fellowship is also created to amplify the voices of young leaders who will speak against social norms and cultural practices that enable violence against women and girls and hinder their active participation in leadership and decision-making efforts on campus”.
The Fellows who were grateful for the period of mentorship, described the experience as a dream come true and assured of readiness to make strides to bring positive change to the student community.
Meanwhile, Alumni of the 2021 Orange fellowship program have created, Orange Club, Nigeria, a club designed to strengthen female political participation and women’s rights’ advocacy work on Campus.