Gender inclusion: NGO urges FG to prioritise women empowerment

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By Sarafina Christopher and Michael Ajayi

An NGO, Gender Strategy Advancement International (GSAI), has called on the Federal Government to prioritise women empowerment across all sectors to promote gender inclusivity.

The NGO made the call at a one-day training on Gender Accountability Reporting for reporters and editors, on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by GSAI, in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation and Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, under the Gender for Agenda project.

Dr Adaora Sydney-Jack, the Executive Director of GSAI, said that empowering women was not only a moral imperative but also a strategic move that could catalyse progress on various fronts within the nation.

According to her, Nigeria, like many other countries, has been grappling with gender disparities, limiting the full potentials and contributions of its female population.

“By empowering women, the country stands to benefit from a more diverse and inclusive workforce, increased economic growth, improved societal well-being, and enhanced political representation.

“Empowerment starts with the ability to fund but if you look at the national budget, it is not gender sensitive.

“The national budget went to about 50 per cent less than the gender friendly budget for women, especially in empowerment programmes.

“So, we urge the Nigerian policy makers and stakeholders to prioritise gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes, allocate resources for women-focused initiatives, and create an enabling environment that supports women’s empowerment.

“By heeding these calls, Nigeria can set a precedent for other nations in the region and beyond, demonstrating its commitment to gender equality and inclusive development,” she said.

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Mrs Chizoba Ogbechie, Vice President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, said the call for empowering women was crucial for Nigeria as the country aimed to address social, economic, and political challenges while striving for sustainable development.

“By harnessing the potential of its female population, Nigeria can unlock new avenues for growth, innovation, and progress,” she said.

Dr Amaechi Anakwe, a Political Economist and Policy Consultant, said that if women were empowered, it would automatically translated to greater involvement of women in governance and politics.

“We all know that politics is influenced to a reasonable extent by wealth, and women are not fully represented or duly represented because they don’t have much exposure to material conditions,”Anakwe said.

Mrs Tina Auta, a participant and reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that empowering women in Nigeria could lead to significant advancements in various sectors, such as education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and governance.

“We believe that investing in women’s education, skills development, providing access to finance and markets for female entrepreneurs, ensuring healthcare services are gender-sensitive,

“Also promoting women’s active participation in decision-making processes are critical steps to creating a more inclusive society that benefits all its citizens,”Auta said. (NAN)

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Abiemwense Moru

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