Maryam Baba credits her love of reading for changing her life. As a teenager, books opened her eyes to opportunities. In particular, one role model, Oprah Winfrey, inspired her to seek the education that would bring her a better life, but also allow her to help other girls and young women to do the same.
In her monovlog for CGTN Europe's Pathfinder series she explains how her organization WiLiAfrica works to ensure women:
• Can be safe by providing emergency accommodation and legal assistance to victims of domestic abuse;
• Can get an education through providing reading material and scholarships;
• Are aware of the opportunities through contact with mentors and role models;
• Can take opportunities thanks to training and business advice.
"One of the challenges that stands in the way of improving the situation is the level of gender inequality," Baba says. "Nigeria has 46 percent of its population within the poverty index, with 31.5 percent of them women."
She adds: "Gender equality is a human right. Women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less political representation, less access to basic and higher education, exposure to sexual- and gender-based violence."