Abagun was born in Lagos, she had her secondary education at Queens’ College, Lagos. In 2008, she graduated from Queens’ College Lagos, bagging the “Outstanding Service to College Life Award” for her strong leadership as the Deputy Head-Girl of the College. Shortly after, she proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Degree and currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Gender and Development at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
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Olaoluwa Abagun: Activism and Fight for the Girl child
Abagun was the only female child of her parents’ four children. Growing up, she described her childhood as being treated the same as her brothers, as her dad and mum treated her with little form of gender consciousness. In another interview, she revealed that her parents unknowingly set her on the path of feminism. She traced her passion for human rights to a speech on understanding the Child Rights Act when she was 13. Since then, it has been an upward and forward inclination towards the empowerment of the girl-child. Abagun has looked for every single opportunity to advocate for and empower the girl child.
For example, in March 2016, at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the empowerment of girls, she launched the Safe Kicks Initiative: Adolescent Girls against Sexual Violence, which aims to train victims of sexual violence and women in general on how to defend themselves physically through learning martial arts. By July 2016, she was reported to be training over 250 female teenagers through this project. She also became the only Nigerian to be awarded a monetary grant from Women Deliver Organization. She also addressed the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly with a speech on gender issues.
In July 2017, she was selected as one of the six “exceptional” Nigerians to discuss on the topic Fast Forward: Preparing the World to Come with members of UK parliament. She noted that she would put the effort in ensuring “gender equality”, and increase the political consciousness of Nigerian women through advocating for better welfare, education and government policies.
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On feminism, she described it as “ensuring everyone, both male and female deserve ample space to explore their full potentials.” She also noted that people should not be seen with an emphasis on gender in mind. She defined feminism as “an ideology that simply champions equal socio-economic opportunities for all, regardless of gender”, noting that “it is not a battle of the sexes” as being misconstrued by many. In January 2018, she voiced her discontent about the lack of interest in politics from Nigerian women, admonishing them to partake in the Nigerian general election, 2019.
Before graduating with a Law degree in 2015, Abagun wrote articles centred on women issues, and was a 2014 finalist at the Africa Youth Day Essay Competition for her work titled “Policies on the Empowerment of Young Women in Africa: The Missing Piece in the African Jigsaw.” She also created “Girl Pride Circle”, an organization that fights for the rights of women in Nigeria.
Featured Image Source: Young Feminist
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