WHAT IS COWAN
Country Women Association of Nigeria, COWAN was officially registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 1992 as a non-governmental organization in Nigeria. Its main goal is the systemic and measurable empowerment of women, in particular rural and urban poor women, using African Traditional norms and practices, their inborn skills and talents to work out of poverty.
COWAN was started in Akure Ondo State, in 1982 with only six cooperative societies, having a total membership of just 225 women. However, through consistency, commitment and cooperation. COWAN doctrine has spread nationwide.
Today, our responsive practices have taken root in 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory with over 10,000 farmer groups and cooperative societies with a total membership of over 2,700,000.
The National Headquarters of the organization is located at No. 10, Awosika Crescent Ijapo Estate, Akure, Ondo State with Zonal contact in the six Geo Political zone and State Coordinating/ Corresponding officer & Office Nationwide.
COWAN’s is firmly rooted in our culture and heritage. COWAN is concerned about the people, their beliefs, their practices, their values, their dignity and their humanity. If we listen enough, are humble enough, and trusting enough, we can work with the poor and they will work their way out of poverty. Indeed, they will start creating wealth before our very eyes. COWAN is about women, they are the beast of labour who eat the crumbs and earn the least.
COWAN is about human dignity. One fulfilled by using our abundant human and material resources for the satisfaction of our legitimate needs, and enhanced by talent, enterprise, conscience and history. And one in which every man, woman and child can be free from the shackles of ignorance, disease and want.
i) Working with rural and urban poor women to remove poverty from their lives through wealth creating practices and engagements.
ii) Using African Responsive Banking to mobilize, generate and deliver cooperative, community personal resources for productive and life enhancing ventures thus revealing and mainstreaming the efficiency and effectiveness of African Traditional savings and credit systems as the key to hunger and poverty eradication.
iii) Promoting gender-compliant and women friendly democratic practice at all levels of governance.
iv) Advocating for the use of our natural herbs, indigenous food, traditional norms and practices to prevent deadly disease such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
AIM'S & OBJECTIVES
i) To harness and share information about our relevant culture, knowledge and practices for poverty eradication and wealth creation.
ii) To develop a bottom up approach and participatory training methodology responsive to rural women skills acquisition.
iii) To mobilize members for synergistic partnership with government and business actors in the spirit of sustainable development tri-sectoral imperatives.
iv) To specifically target the poorest of the poor for special services and products delivery.
v) To popularize and utilize the COWAN Tripod Empowerment Approach which employs health, economic and democracy & good governance keys to unlock the gates of self actualization through self employment and sustainable livelihoods in an integrated manner.
vi) To further promote and strengthen the COWAN rural Food and Money Banking Hall Project which already operates in 774 local government in Nigeria as a means of direct intervention in microfinance through ownership of a local financial institution and food storage facilities by rural women.