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1 Million Women United in Nigerian Facebook Group

Have you ever heard of a Facebook group named Fin?’ If not, it’s most likely because it’s an invite-only group, founded by Lola Omolola, that promotes “female empowerment and tolerance” by providing women a safe place to share their stories.

The group (FIN or Female IN), originally called Female In Nigeria, is currently one of the fastest-growing communities on Facebook and hosts over one million members.

Chicagoan Omolola wanted to create a place where women could voice the problems that they are otherwise often forced to stay silent about. Originally from Nigeria herself, Omolola wanted this safe space to be focused primarily on Nigerian women, as she explained in an interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: “The Nigerian woman has been the core of this process because I am a Nigerian woman.”

It was the infamous abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Northeast Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram that triggered Omolola to take action and create Fin in 2015.

Group members, or FINsters, use the group to share intimate stories, which cover everything from heavy topics, like relationship experiences, rape, domestic violence, and child abuse, to light anecdotes from personal life experiences.

Omolola describes the group’s existence as a “way to disrupt the status quo and change the landscape” of places where women are condemned to silence.

What makes the group remarkable and inviting to its present and future members is that there are no negative or judgmental comments allowed. All posts must be approved by a set of volunteers (select FINsters), and negative comments and users are removed.

The group’s rapid growth has earned it some attention from various media outlets. Omolola was invited to attend the first ever Facebook Communities Summit, an event dedicated to “bringing people closer together” in order to “build common understanding,” as Zuckerberg said in a recent Facebook post.

Zuckerberg sees FIN as a major tool in “helping end the culture of silence that exists for women in some parts of the world,” and its members continue to use the Facebook community to share their voices and let their opinions be heard.

Featured Image by Mark Fischer on Flickr

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