The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the women’s empowerment policy in the country.
As women account for more than half of the population in Nigeria, it has become imperative to include women which is one of the most certain paths to national development.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, announced this on Wednesday in Abuja, expressing hope that the new policy, dubbed WEE, will contribute to the country’s optimal development.
What the Minister said
The minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the policy his blessing and said that having such a policy in place had been a goal long overdue because of the value of women in the society.
She remarked that the President had finally given his seal of approval after years of pursuit. She stated in her words;
- “It is a legacy that Mr. President is leaving behind by approving this Woman Economic Empowerment to help get women into the mainstream of financial plans to ensure that women are carried along in nation-building,” she added.
She also said:
- “Yesterday, the Federal Executive Council approved the WEE Policy. The WEE Policy is Women Economic Empowerment. It is a policy dialogue that we’ve been working on for over one year”.
- “We’ve traversed all around the country to the 36 states, having dialogues with the private sector, rural dwellers, to find the best way to empower women and get them into the mainstream of nation building”.
- You’ll agree with me that women constitute over 50 percent of the population and the surest way to national development is to involve the total population of the country”.
- “If 50 percent of the population is neglected, it means the country cannot develop optimally; it’s like a country walking with one leg.”
About the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is one of Nigeria’s Federal Ministries that promotes the development of women and children. Pauline Tallen is the current head of the ministry.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is tasked with reviewing substantive and procedural laws affecting women.
The Ministry’s activities include facilitating cottage industry projects to increase women’s economic empowerment, in which the Ministry provides equipment and training to women’s cooperatives.
The Ministry also promotes literacy and women’s health programs.
The Impact of empowering women in Nigeria
In Nigeria, empowering women has been a means of reducing women’s poverty, vulnerability, and dependence in all facets of life. The key to women’s empowerment in Nigeria is a combination of educational, political, health, and legal empowerment.
Women’s economic and human rights, as well as their contributions and priorities, have historically received little attention.
They spend more time nationwide performing unpaid care work, are more likely to be unemployed, dominate the unprotected informal sector, are less productive than men for work of comparable value, are underrepresented in public and corporate economic decision-making, and are more likely to hold part-time formal employment in most high-income regions.
To fully participate in efforts to shape responses to these intersecting crises, as well as to have a voice on par with men at all levels of economic decision-making, women will be able to do so through the empowerment policy.
They will also be able to influence the design of recovery packages and evaluate their effects from a gender perspective.
UN Women has been working to encourage the adoption of affirmative procurement policies and laws at all levels of the government in Nigeria to support women-owned businesses.
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