The United Nations (UN) programme to protect young girls from the dangers of the society is one of the innovations in this year’s Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL), which kicks off in seven centres across the country today.
Recently, the NWFL leadership signed a partnership with UN Women on #Safehome Campaign to ensure the protection of NWFL players in all the centres and their camps throughout the season.
To that effect, UN Women Country Representative, Ms Comfort Lamptey, and her team will be at the Lafia Township Stadium to watch the week one-star match involving Nasarawa United and FC Robo of Lagos.
According to NWFL Chairperson, Aisha Falode, “the partnership is one of the innovations we have introduced into the system to ensure that our girls are safe.
“Every girl has the right to protect her body and make independent choices. Our girls are no longer vulnerable because now we have a programme that protects them and allows them to play their game to the best of their ability.
“These, aside from many other things, would enable the team players, the coaches and the referees give their best in the game and would invariably up the standard of the opening game of the season.”
She added that officials from the United Nations would be available to speak to the girls on safety issues and choices open to them.
“The recently launched UN Women Gender Equality Campaign is in line with our work here at the NWFL.
“Our vision to evolve the NWFL into a global league brand is nothing short of gender equality and women empowerment. We believe that a viable and financially sufficient Nigerian Women league brand of international repute will have socially, financially empowered thousands of women directly and millions more indirectly.”
Also, speaking on the partnership, Joyce Lamptey, said her organisation “will explore concrete partnership entry points between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and UN Women to advance issues pertaining to women’s rights and gender equality in football and sports, and also to harness the influence of footballers to address prevention of violence against women and girls.”
Expected at the opening game of the season between Nasarawa Amazons and FC Robo of Lagos are Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, and his Women Affairs counterpart, Mrs Pauline Tallen, as well as NFF board members and top executives.
The star match in Lafia, as well as the game between Edo Queens and Royal Queens, which will hold at the newly reconstructed Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, will be played under floodlight.
In other matchday one matches, Bayelsa Queens will host Sunshine Queens, Confluence Queens against Rivers Angels, and Delta Queens versus Dreamstar Ladies.
Also billed for today are Abia Angels against Pelican Stars and Ibom Angels versus Osun Babes.
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