Saturday, May 18, 2024

Minister advocates action for women empowerment, gender inclusion

She said, “This collaboration aims to ensure that all women, especially those in rural areas, have access to empowerment opportunities.”

• April 16, 2024
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye (credit: premium times)
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye (credit: premium times)

The Minister of Women and Social Development, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has advocated action for women empowerment and gender inclusion.

She made the call at a workshop on implementing the National Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) policy, which was attended by eight commissioners for women’s affairs on Tuesday in Abuja.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Development Research and Projects Centre (DRPC) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

States represented at the workshop include Plateau, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Borno, Kwara, Kaduna, and Enugu, which aimed to provide guidelines for domesticating the WEE policy in states.

WEE was launched in 2023 to streamline gender policies and address disparities women face in accessing financial benefits and opportunities in various sectors.

The initiatives are to enhance gender equality, reduce poverty and coordinate efforts among development partners to promote women’s rights and empowerment in Nigeria.

The policy also seeks to address the gender pay gap and women’s empowerment.

One year after its launch, most states had yet to domesticate the policy for it to take effect nationwide.

However, the minister emphasised the importance of changing societal narratives and stereotypes about women. Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye highlighted the ministry’s proactive role in empowering women and reshaping the narratives.

According to her, true gender inclusion cannot be achieved without women’s empowerment, emphasising the need for “tangible actions rather than endless meetings.’’

Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye announced the commencement of the distribution of empowerment packages to 15 states, signalling the government’s commitment to support women.

She revealed that the ministry had launched a portal for the registration of women, with over 283,000 members already captured. However, she expressed concern that some states had not actively participated in the registration process.

The minister urged women-focused agencies and organisations at the sub-national level to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to register community women groups.

She said, “This collaboration aims to ensure that all women, especially those in rural areas, have access to empowerment opportunities.”

Ms Kennedy-Ohanenye lamented the diversion of funds meant for women’s empowerment, emphasising the urgent need to address the issue to prevent further suffering and deprivation among women.


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