The Ifendu project was inspired by a need to do something to create awareness and bring about change in a context where three-year old ‘men’ are accorded more human dignity than thirty-year old women, all in the name of culture and tradition.
Ifendu came into existence out of the realization that although many Nigerian women have received formal education, and some have acquired higher education, it is doubtful that formal education alone without corresponding changes in society’s negative attitude towards women has lifted the cultural, social and economic burdens that women bear.
Oppressive cultural traditions persist and prevent even very highly educated and talented women from enjoying full human dignity. This ongoing situation called for a re-think and for advancing the religious women’s education project to include gender advocacy for equal recognition of women’s full human identity.
To increase beneficiaries’ awareness of their social and cultural conditioning, and how they unwittingly perpetuate the same system which oppresses them, which they otherwise condemn
To motivate all to work for change in behaviors, policies, beliefs and attitudes, which undermine women’s dignity
To equip beneficiaries with the necessary skills and capacity to interpret cultural symbols and myths in ways that are more life-giving for women
To build up women’s capacity to assume a fuller participation in partnership with men in development; to collaborate with men on an equal footing, not in subservience
To increase beneficiaries’ systematic knowledge of core gender issues and how to reverse their unhealthy effects in people’s lives
To promote genuine happy family life.
"It created a deeper awareness in me on gender issues"
It created a deeper awareness in me on gender issues; increased the zeal in me to engage in working towards women liberation; gave me new insights of making it a point of duty to appreciate myself and be conscientious in whatever I have to do. Gender equality starts from me and moves towards others. I learned that I could be promoting women oppression unconsciously; a call to be more alert to notice where it is happening.
Sr A. O., MSHR
"The workshop was very helpful to me because it was an eye-opener to what happens around me that I am not really aware of."
The workshop was very helpful to me because it was an eye-opener to what happens around me that I am not really aware of. I found the organizer very helpful. I saw that spirit of sharing in her; trying to make others know what she knows. Perhaps this kind of workshop can be organized for sisters and priest together so that we hear ourselves out and see how we might be able to talk in their [the priests'] presence without shying away
Sr. M. J. N., EHJ
"The visual aid and drama session were very educational"
The visual aid and drama session were very educational. The group was open and ready to learn and eager to face new challenges in their ministry. I thank Sr. Rose and all in the group. I must say that the presenters did well and in some cases reinforced what another said. They were open to challenges. They gave us ample time to discuss, ask a lot of questions and responded to all our questions. Rose often went back to draw our attention to our initial aims and objectives, that is expectations for the workshop. This really helped to deepen my listening skills and awareness of social justice in my culture and the big task I have before me. I pray for courage to avoid timidity due to internalized oppression which makes me shy away from presenting any paper to a group.
Sr NR., MSHR