By Sarafina Christopher
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu has emphasised the need to work collaboratively to ensure global recognition and empowerment of Nigerian women.
A statement by Mr Chinem Pressley, the Media Consultant to the minister, said that Bagudu expressed this thought when he received in Abuja, a UN Women delegation, led by Dr Maxine Houinato, the UN Women Regional Director, West and Central Africa.
The minister explained that the UN Women was the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
He added that it was globally regarded as a champion for women and girls.
According to the minister, the organisation was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of Women worldwide.
Speaking further, Bagudu said that the UN-Women worked globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stood behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life.
He added that the UN Women also coordinated and promoted the UN System’s activities in advancing gender equality, deliberation, and agreements linked to the 2030 Agenda.
Earlier in his remarks, Houinato urged the government to be ready to support the non-governmental sector and the planning of the budget of the country should also be implemented promptly.
Initiatives such as “Nigeria for Women” and “Agile Adolescent Girls in Learning” are making a difference. Together, we can accelerate progress towards gender equality and ensure every woman has equal opportunities
“Resource allocation is a challenge we face globally. While many women in our country are taking the initiative to empower themselves through loans, we recognise that there are limits to what the government can provide.
“This is why there’s a call for greater global recognition and appreciation for the crucial work being done by women.
“Women often face unique challenges, including cultural norms, limited mobility, and restricted access to opportunities.
“To address these issues, we’re proud to have initiatives like the World Bank’s “Nigeria for Women,” targeting 18,000 women in at least 3 local governments across all the 36 states of the federation,” he said.
According to him, this programme aims to provide financial support and entrepreneurship training to women, enabling them to start and expand their businesses,” he said.
He said that by empowering women economically, “we can break the cycle of poverty and promote gender equality.
“Additionally, the “Agile Adolescent Girls in Learning” program is enriching school environments to nurture women’s skills.
“This initiative focuses on improving the quality of education for young girls, ensuring they have equal opportunities to pursue their dreams and develop their talents.”
According to him, by investing in education, we are investing in the future of our nation, creating a society where women can thrive and contribute to the progress of Nigeria.
He said that the progress made thus far was commendable, but there was still much work to be done.
“Our goal for Nigeria is clear: under our President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we must accelerate our progress toward gender equality and equity.
“We believe that every woman has the right to access the same opportunities as men, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have a voice in decision-making processes,” she said.
He said that promoting gender equality and empowering women “is crucial to creating a more inclusive and just society.
“However, it is not a task that can be accomplished by one organisation or government alone.
“It requires a collective effort from governments, civil society, private sector, and individuals around the world. The world has the wealth and resources to ensure that every woman seeking an opportunity can have one.
“It is not only a matter of justice but also a matter of unlocking the immense potential that women hold.
“When women are given equal opportunities, they become drivers of economic growth, agents of positive change, and leaders in their communities’’. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)