Legal Nigeria

FG to launch web-based portal dedicated to women’s empowerment

The federal government is set to launch a web-based portal dedicated to women’s empowerment.

The government said it believes that centralizing opportunities for women would empower every woman who chooses to embark on transformative journeys of economic emancipation.

The special assistant to the President on Women Affairs, Ms. Fatima Abubakar-Faruk, who made this disclosure said women would no longer have the daunting task of discovering opportunities in isolated fragments.

This, she said, is because the portal would offer them a unified and organized resource, empowering them to seize their rightful place in the workforce.

Abubakar-Faruk said this yesterday in Abuja at the International Women’s Day celebration organized with the government in collaboration with the Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), titled, ‘Invest in women’s accelerate progress.’

She said: “In conjunction with the Development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), we are proud to announce the upcoming launch of a ground-breaking initiative – a web-based portal dedicated to women’s empowerment. By centralizing these opportunities, we aspire to empower every woman who chooses to embark on this transformative journey of economic emancipation.

“No longer will they face the daunting task of discovering opportunities in isolated fragments; we offer them a unified and organized resource, empowering them to seize their rightful place in the workforce.

“Today, in the mood of celebrating International Women’s Day, I would like to draw your attention to the critical issue of poverty in women and gender-responsive financing. Gender-responsive financing refers to the allocation of financial resources to support gender equality, empower women, and address the unique needs and challenges they face. It recognises that investing in women and girls is not only a matter of social justice but also a smart economic decision that can yield remarkable benefits for societies at large.

“In Nigeria, despite the remarkable strides made in various sectors, gender disparities persist. Approximately 50% of Nigerian women live in poverty, according to the World Bank, highlighting the challenges faced by women in accessing economic opportunities and resources necessary to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

“Women often encounter significant barriers in accessing financial services, with only 39% of women in Nigeria having access to formal financial services compared to 48% of men, according to the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) survey. Overcoming these barriers and promoting inclusive financial systems that cater to the needs of women is an urgent priority.

“Additionally, women’s entrepreneurship and access to credit are vital for economic growth, yet they are hindered by systemic gender biases. A study by the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria revealed that women-led businesses receive significantly lower financing compared to those led by men. Closing this financing gap is crucial to empowering women as entrepreneurs and unlocking their potential for contributing to the nation’s development.

“To address these challenges, we must work towards providing more inclusive access to financial services, ensuring that banking and microfinance institutions cater to women’s unique needs. This requires targeted efforts to expand financial education for women, and enhance their financial literacy and management skills.

“We also need to prioritize financing programs that directly support women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. By increasing access to affordable credit, fostering mentorship networks, and providing training and capacity-building programs, we can empower women to establish and grow their businesses, fostering economic independence and reducing poverty levels.

“We must encourage gender equality in both public and private financing realms. This necessitates a gender lens in budgetary allocation while promoting corporate practices that embrace diversity and equity in investment decisions. By supporting organizations that demonstrate gender-responsive practices, we can create an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment.

“In conclusion, gender-responsive financing holds the key to unlocking the full potential of women in Nigeria. By ensuring women have equal access to financial resources, we not only promote gender equality but also drive sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. Let us unite, advocate, and take decisive action to make gender-responsive financing a reality in Nigeria. Together, we can create a future where Nigerian women thrive, contribute, and lead in all spheres of life.”

President of the Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA) Ruth Agbo, who represented the Executive Director, dRPC Dr. Judith-Ann Walker explained that the dRPC is a center for women’s economic empowerment.

She added: “In dRPC we have the women economic collectives and their concern is to look into cases of gender equality, the education of women to be digitally inclusive, agricultural engagements in the agricultural value chain, and everything that has to do with boosting women economic empowerment as it relates to policies in Nigeria and how it can be sustained to help women.”

Source:The nation