The Women Leaders have tasked the South West States Government to ensure that there is a specific funding line in their annual budgets targeting women’s economic empowerment.
The women made the call during a day-long policy dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) intervention and programming in the southwestern states of Oyo, Ondo and Lagos, which s is held on Thursday in Ibadan.
Rather than the usual lump sum budget amounts for empowerment, they said these amounts should be broken down to determine how women will benefit.
In various remarks at the event, women highlighted the need for ministries, departments and agencies to prioritize women’s economic empowerment as part of their policy priority.
Further, they called on state governments to ensure adequate and timely release of funds for women’s economic empowerment to improve their socio-economic well-being and contribute effectively to their states’ economies.
The event organized by the Partnership for Advancement of Women in Economic Development (PAWED) Nigeria brought together representatives of government and non-government agencies from three South West states.
In her remarks, Ondo’s Commissioner for Women’s Affairs, Dr. Adebunmi Osadahun argued that women must be the target of development efforts if the nation is to be considered a developed nation.
Osadahun said, “If Nigeria is portrayed as a developed community, women cannot live in poverty, be unemployed, face health issues. Women should be the target of development. “Even in a home, the wife is responsible to the husband and to the children. So developing an average woman is like developing the whole family. It is therefore imperative that women be developed so that Nigeria will forever be considered a developed state.
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Speaking on behalf of the Development Program Commission for Western Nigeria (DAWN), Ms. Titi Asabia said women must be enlightened to seize the empowerment opportunities and leadership positions that come their way .
She said the DAWN Commission has played its part in bringing women together and mentoring them to prepare them for leadership positions.
Taking the floor, the National Vice President of NACCIMA Business Women Group, Mrs. Funmilayo Ade-Ojo urged the government to continue providing opportunities for women to participate in trade and governance.
She also advocated for public/private partnerships for women’s empowerment opportunities.
In her own remarks, the Oyo State Coordinator for the Association of Women in Commerce and Agriculture, Ms. Abiola Njoku, said that the challenges women face to be economically self-sufficient will be mitigated if they benefit from the ease of doing business.
She added that the adequate and timely release of funds for the empowerment of women will go a long way towards improving their socio-economic well-being and their ability to contribute effectively to the economy of their states.
Njoku also stressed that ministries, departments and agencies should emphasize women’s empowerment in their policy priorities.