Nigeria Interviews

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Hajiya Binta Abdulhamid :

Hajiya Binta Abdulhamid

Hajiya Binta Abdulhamid was born on March 20, 1965, in Kano, the capital of Kano State, in northern Nigeria. She attended primary school and girls’ secondary school in Kano and Kaduna State. Thereafter she attended classes at Bayero University in Kano, where she received a degree in Islamic Studies. While she initially wanted to be a journalist, in 1983 she was encouraged to take education courses at the tertiary level in order to serve as a principal in girls’ secondary schools in Kano State. While other women had served in this position, there had been no women from Kano State who had done so. She has subsequently worked under the Kano State Ministry of Education, serving as school principal in several girls’ secondary schools in Kano State. Her experiences as a principal and teacher in these schools have enabled her to support girl child education in the state and she has encouraged women students to complete their secondary school education and to continue on to postgraduate education. She sees herself as a woman-activist in her advocacy of women’s education and has been gratified to see many of her former students working as medical doctors, lawyers, and politicians.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, TranscriptYouTube Video

Professor Binta Abdulkarim :

Professor Binta Abdulkarim

Professor Binta Abdulkarim was born on February 10, 1956, in Anchau, a town east of Zaria, in Kaduna State, northern Nigeria. She is the Coordinator of Gender Studies, at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and is also Director of Girl Child Education there. She received her degree in Geography from Ahmadu Bello University and along with her leadership role in Gender Studies at ABU which began in 2003, she teaches courses in the Department of Geography and in the Faculty of Science Education. Her special interest in the education and well-being of women at ABU has led to her participation in ASUU (the Academic Staff Union of Universities) as financial secretary, in the National Association of University Women (Nigeria), and in the federal Anti-Corruption Unit, as the university representative who oversees sexual harassment cases at Ahmadu Bello University. She is also an active participant in the World Association of Victimology and has attended association meetings in Nairobi, Amsterdam, and Nigeria, where she contributed to discussions of the victims of weather extremes and the after-effects of war.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, TranscriptYouTube Video

Dr. Joyce Agofure :

Dr. Joyce Agofure

Dr. Joyce Agofure was born on April 3, 1978, in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, in southern Nigeria. She first attended primary school in Benin City and continued her education, obtaining her first degree in English and Education. She then entered the Masters’ Degree Program at Ahmadu Bello University-Zaria where she received a Masters’ Degree and subsequently a PhD in English literature. She was particularly interested in eco-feminism and the consequences of climate change on the lives of women. As a senior lecturer and the Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies in the Department of English at Ahmadu Bello University, she teaches courses which include Introduction to Literature, African Literature and Literature Theory. She assigns readings in Nigerian women’s literature, some of which consider the challenges faced by women which she discusses in these courses. She was able to expand her knowledge of eco-feminism, particularly the ways that women are seen as natural beings and the environment is characterized as feminine, during her tenure as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Idaho. This experience has enabled her to become involved in developing a course on Eco-Feminism to be taught in the Department of English at ABU.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, TranscriptYouTube Video

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi :

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi was born in 1971 in Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria. Akiyode-Afolabi studied law at the Obafemi Awolowo University. She received her LLM from the Notre Dame School of Law in the US and a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of London where she specialized in women’s peace and security studies. In 2002, she established the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), a not-for-profit focused on maternal and reproductive health advocacy, gender-based violence, and social justice. She also teaches International Humanitarian Law at the University of Lagos. Akiyoda-Afolabi organized grassroot networks connecting women in Nigeria. Such networks have been established in colleges across Nigeria.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, YouTube Video

Bolanle Awe :

Bolanle Awe

Bolanle Awe was born in Ilesha on January 26, 1933. A distinguished scholar, feminist, and educator, she attended the first girl’s school in Nigeria, followed by the Perse School for Girls in Cambridge, St. Andrews University, Scotland (1958), and the University of Oxford, England (1964). Considered the matriarch of feminist history in Nigeria, Awe founded the Women’s Research and Documentation Centre (WORDOC) in 1985. She spent many years working on the development of higher education in Nigerian universities.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, YouTube Video

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma :

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, born in Lagos in 1966, is a specialist in gender and development and a human rights advocate. She received her B.A. in English, and her M.A. in development studies with a special focus on women’s issues, from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, the Netherlands. She worked for a few years for the Constitutional Rights Project (CRP), and then in 1999 established Project Alert on Violence Against Women, a not-for-profit that addresses gender-informed abuses The Project provides counseling, advocacy, and temporary shelter for abused persons. The organization opened the first shelter for abused/assaulted women and girls in Nigeria in 2001.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, TranscriptYouTube Video

Dr. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo :

Dr. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo

Dr. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo is professor of law and the Dean of the Law School, University of Nigerian (UNN). She has been the lead professor of the "Women, Children, and the Law" class at the UNN since 1997. An activist and feminist scholar, Dr. Ezeilo was appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons between 2008 and 2014, during which time she traveled to several countries to determine the causes, mechanisms, and scope of human trafficking. She is an active member of the civil society movement in Nigeria, where she founded the Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), a not-for-profit that works to promote and protect the rights of women and girls. She is the founder and moderator of the West African Women’s Rights Coalition (WAWORC).

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, YouTube Video

Ngozi Iwere :

Ngozi Iwere

Ngozi Iwere, born in 1956, has pursued work in language teaching, journalism and communications, but describes herself as primarily an activist. Through her contributions to the United Nations Expert Strategy Meeting on HIV/AIDS and Gender preparatory to the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, the Expert Strategy Meeting on HIV/AIDS as a security issue, and UNAIDS Consultative Meeting on Communication for Social Change, she played key roles at the national and global levels in shaping policies on HIV/AIDS. She developed a model program for HIV/AIDS Prevention that targets and involves the entire community, which earned her an Ashoka Fellowship.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, YouTube Video

Dr. Mairo Usman Mandara :

Dr. Mairo Usman Mandara

Dr. Mairo Usman Mandara was born on June 5, 1965, in Bukuru, just outside of Jos, the capital of Plateau State, Nigeria. She first attended primary school in Bukuru and continued her post-secondary education at the University of Jos. There she studied medicine, specifically women’s health issues, an interest that expanded to include the socio-economic issues associated with women’s health such as VVF (vesico-vaginal fistula), e.g., early marriage and stunting due to malnutrition. Her work as an obstetric-gynaecologist led to a broader feminist concern with girl-child education, the founding of the Federation of Muslim Women of Nigeria (FOMWAN), and with the NGO, Girl-Child Concerns. Between 2005 and 2010, Dr. Mandara was a Senior Country Adviser in Nigeria to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and more recently worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Country Representative to Nigeria. Her current activist and scholarly work reflect her belief in the importance of working with traditional political and religious leaders in encouraging parents to enable their daughters to complete their secondary school education.

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Media: Transcript, Video, YouTube VideoName Pronunciation Audio

Olanike Olugboji :

Olanike Olugboji

Olanike Olugboji, born in 1974, is the founder/director of Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE). While attending elementary and high schools at Command Children’s School and Federal Government College Kaduna, respectively, she developed the habit of picking up litter. Following her education in technology and urban and regional planning, she began pursuing her dream of working towards a sustainable, clean and safe environment while supporting women’s health and empowerment, through the clean cookstoves initiative. Ms. Olugbogi hopes to contribute to producing a younger generation of Nigerians that is more committed to nurturing their environment through the Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE).

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, Video, YouTube Video

Olutola Oluyemisi Ransome-Kuti :

Olutola Oluyemisi Ransome-Kuti

Olutola Oluyemisi Ransome-Kuti was born in 1947 in a family deeply engaged in the political life of Nigeria. Ransome-Kuti was educated in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria, where she earned degrees in business management, aesthetics, counseling, and human resources management. She was involved in the struggle for democracy in Nigeria and was arrested and sent to prison on her way to attend the Beijing Women’s Conference (1995). Ransome Kuti founded the Nigeria Network of NGOs, an umbrella organization that coordinates and regulates the activities of NGOs in Nigeria. She once ran Girl Watch, an organization that focused on educating young Nigerian girls from low socio-economic backgrounds. In 2006, the World Bank appointed her as the civil society advisor on Nigeria’s working groups on millennium development goals and poverty eradication.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, Video, YouTube Video

Aisha Isa Yusuf :

Aisha Isa Yusuf

Aisha Isa Yusuf was born on February 14, 1992, in Kano, the capital of Kano State, Nigeria. She first attended primary school in Kano and continued her education at Bayero University Kano where she received a Bachelor of Law degree in 2014. She then attended the Nigeria Law School, Bagauda-Kano, where she studied federal and Islamic law, graduating in 2015. She was particularly interested in legal cases involving women. This work led to a broader feminist concern with working for women’s rights in the Kano State Public Defender’s Office as a lawyer with the NGO, Partners West Africa-Nigeria, office in Kano. She is also a member of the Federation of Women Lawyers of Nigeria and of the Islamic Lawyers’ Group in Kano. Her most recent legal work which focuses on women’s legal rights in marriage and sexual violence reflects her belief in the importance of educating women in Northern Nigeria about their rights under federal and Islamic law.

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Media: Name Pronunciation Audio, Transcript, Video, YouTube Video