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Empowerment critical to poverty eradication, says Action Aid


British envoy, others urge better deal for women

AS the world marks International Women’s Day, anti-poverty organisation, ActionAid, has stressed the link between women empowerment and poverty eradication, calling for the enactment of policies and programmes that would lift the lives of women.

  In a release to mark the day in Abuja, ActionAid called for the need for an environment that encourages and enables women’s involvement in economic and social development.

  The Country Director of ActionAid, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, said: “Poverty continues to have a very strong gender dimension in Nigeria; there are many more females living in poverty than males. This is largely due to women’s relative lack of access to education and technical skills, as well as lack of access to capital and other means of production, including owning land.

  “All issues that contribute to higher levels of poverty among women, such as unemployment, under employment, unremunerated work, lack of job safety and security, environmental degradation, health challenges and conflict, are still prevalent in the Nigeria of 2015, as they were in 1995 when the world met in Beijing.”

  Also, in commemoration of the day last Thursday, British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Martin Uden, has commended women for their various roles in their families, communities and the world at large.

  Making the commendation on Thursday at an event organised by the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos to mark the day where women from all walks of life gathered to brainstorm on ways to improve the gender and proffer solutions to the various challenges facing them, Uden, who commended and welcomed the women to the occasion, said: “Today, here in Lagos and around the world, we are marking the 105th International Women’s Day, although March 8 is the official day set aside for us all to demonstrate United Kingdom (UK) and Nigeria’s commitment to promote and protect women’s rights around the world.

  “This year is particularly important as it is the 20-year anniversary and global progress review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+20), which set out a progressive international roadmap to promote and protect women’s rights and the 15-year review of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) on women, peace and security.”

  Besides, the United States (U.S.) Consulate-General in collaboration with Access Bank has organised a three-day event to celebrate women in Nigeria and all over the world.

  The event, which kicked off yesterday with a talk, had a lot of prominent women in attendance, including the presidential candidate of KOWA party, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, who gave a short speech and also presented three books she authored to the U.S. Consul-General, Ambassador Jeffrey Hawkins. 

  In his speech, Hawkins said that this initiative from the Consulate was to expand women’s opportunities in the corporate and political spheres as well as impact each woman’s life personally.

  Speaking at the event, while Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe said women are faced with various challenges ranging from the traditional gender role, Mrs. Eseoghene Ise Odiete advised women to encourage themselves irrespective of the challenges they may face in their businesses and other areas.

  Akinkugbe also said that the African women are the greatest untapped resources that many nations have had, saying that attention should be given to women’s training and development.   

  She, therefore, urged that women should be empowered financially, educationally and otherwise to develop the world. 


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