#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS: MILEAD FELLOWS TAKE A STAND
MILEAD FELLOWS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH NIGERIA
It’s been three weeks since the extremist militant group ‘Boko Haram’ left millions wondering about the fate of over 200 girls abducted at the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. It’s been three weeks since mothers of the abducted girls began to weep—and they are still weeping. These girls have dreams, dreams that will make our world a better place. We cannot afford to remain idle as the system that has threated their dreams remains—a system that denies girls their right to safety, quality education, self-worth and dignity.
The kidnapping of the Chibok girls fondly known to the world as “our girls” has raised several questions. How has Boko Haram existed with relative impunity for the past several years? Do we lack Security intelligence and forces in Africa? Is there a phone number that could have been set up for those who surely suspected the girls’ whereabouts to call? Why is the African Union (AU) mute? Why are individual leaders in Africa silent? Until Nigerians all over the world began an online campaign, most people did not even know the girls were missing.
Terrorism knows no boundaries—let us not forget that an unchecked militant group like Boko Haram poses a threat to each one of us and merits swift action. A collective force has finally been deployed, but it took three weeks for this to happen. Such delays are unacceptable given the likelihood that these girls are being repeatedly harmed. Their suffering is on our collective conscience. And now that a force is, we hope, on its way to recovering our girls, there is still more to be done:
- Education is a basic right as well a vital part of a country’s development. For months prior to the kidnapping, thousands of students in certain northern Nigerian states had been kept at home due to Boko Haram’s attacks on schools. This situation may remain even when the girls come home. Boko Haram must be completely defeated and the northern states restored to state of peace and security.
- We wish for our girls to come back immediately, but we acknowledge that we have already waited too long. It may be that some of them come back traumatized, having survived rape and possibly been infected with HIV. The immediate response to the kidnapping was grossly lacking, but there is time to prepare the necessary resources to be available to the girls as soon as they return.
As MILEAD Fellows, from across the continent and the Diaspora, we are hurting together with our sisters, we are in pain, we are angry, and we are frustrated. We raise our collective voice for justice. We are committed to sharing our skills and lending support for their return.
As MILEAD Fellows, we will embrace and celebrate their return; we will stand in solidarity on the rebuilding process and in responding to their issues.
MILEAD Fellows of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa stand in solidarity with NIGERIA and call on leadership to act now with appropriate and practical measures for a safe world and for every girl and every boy to access quality education. #BRINGBACKOURGIRLSNOW #MILEAD FELLOWS
Some of our MILEAD FELLOWS featured; SelamawitAdugna (Ethiopia), Hikmat Baba Dua (Ghana), Lusungu Kalanga (Malawi), HadeyeMaiga (Mali), Maletsabisa Molapo (Lesotho), Dorothy Pasipanodya (Zimbabwe), Samfee Doe (Liberia), Aisha Keita (Gambia), Amina Abdirashid Dubow (Kenya), Chisenga Muyoyoya (Zambia), Amanda Chembezi (Botswana), Aissa Laouan (Niger) and Kondi Chabvuta (Malawi).
About the MILEAD Fellows
The MILEAD Fellows represent some of Africa’s most extra-ordinary young women leaders with the courage and commitment to lead and shape the future of their communities and Africa as a whole. The Fellows represent over 38 African countries and the Diaspora and constitute a truly pan-African network and diversity- with multi–disciplinary academic, professional and social backgrounds. From poverty to women’s economic empowerment, environmental justice and political participation, this new generation of African women leaders are at the frontlines of the struggle for change- providing the bold, visionary and inspirational leadership needed to lift Africa to its rightful place on the global stage. The Fellows are selected through a highly competitive selection process and criteria that includes their outstanding leadership promise, community service accomplishments, and commitment to the advancement of women in Africa.
About Moremi Initiative
Founded in 2004, The Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa strives to engage, inspire, and equip young women and girls to become the next generation of leading politicians, activists, social entrepreneurs, and change agents–leaders who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate discrimination against women. We firmly believe that the full and active participation of women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa, and addresses the current problem of leadership imbalances. www.moremiinitiative.org or www.facebook.com/MoremiAfrica