Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Federal, State Governments To Implement Programmes Targeted At Rural Women

By Justina Auta

The Federal and State Governments are to implement programmes targeted at advancing the rights and economical status of rural women nationwide.

Uju Ohaneye Minister of Women Affairs said this on Wednesday at a one-day strategic meeting with all states commissioners for women affairs in Abuja.

Ohanenye said government would use the bottom-to-top approach for all target interventions to ensure the empowerment and poverty alleviation projects impacted on grassroots women, girls and children.

She said strategies would be employed for the betterment of rural dwellers, especially poor Nigerian women and children, since the previous ways of doing things has not yielded desired impacts and results.

“It is time for us to change the narrative, we don’t identify what we need rather we copy and paste anything that works for Western world.

“Identify the issue we have and stop copying the Western style. It’s a shame we send our children overseas because we fail to build our nation.

“That is why I call all commissioners to change the way we work in order to see results in six months,” the minister said.

She said all empowerment interventions meant for poor Nigerian women and children, including those coming from donor organisations, must be directed at the poor who are found at the grassroots.

The minister added that four steps rice milling machine that produce 10 bags of rice in an hour would be distributed to women farmers in rural areas.

The minister also disclosed that plans are on to empower women with tricycles (Pink Riders) in order to enhance their economic status.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, UNWomen and ECOWAS Country Representative to Nigeria, reiterated their commitment towards reinventing intervention to the grassroots through its technical support in partnership with the government of Canada.

She said: “The achievement of gender equality and protection of women’s rights is critical if Nigeria is to attain the SDGs targets. “Gender equality means that women and men have equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities in all spheres of life.

”It means that women and men can equally contribute to and benefit from the development of our nation.

“Along this line, the Ministry of Women Affairs is a vital institution in the society, working tirelessly to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality.”

Ibrahim Sesay, Chief Child Protection Officer of UNICEF, said the meeting was an avenue for unified effort to support government efforts in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number five.

“The minister, while she was at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), was championing the cause of women in Nigeria and for the entire continent.

“She was advancing important interventions among which women empowerment not just by word of mouth and also narrating the key contributions of the government under His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu,” she said.

Also, Dr Ini Adiakpan, speaking on behalf of the states’ Commissioners of Women Affairs, Dean of Commissioners, noted that the states would partner with the federal government for the attainment of key targets and policies.

She said: “We want the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to continue to interface with us so that we can synchronise our own practice with what the ministry does.

“Truly we are very happy that you came to see us and you immediately went into action to implement this and we see that this is a step in the right direction and we know that with this, our capacity will be felt.”

Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, the Director General of Maryam Babaginda National Centre for Women Development (MBNCWD), lamented that less than one per cent of the nation’s budget was allocated to the Ministry of Women Affairs that cares for 70 per cent of over 200 million Nigerian population. (NAN)

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