Gender inequality is crippling economy, says UN Women

at the press briefing, on his visit to Nigeria on a new phase of UN Women’s work in Nigeria
Hounato{right) at the press briefing, on his visit to Nigeria on a new phase of UN Women’s work in Nigeria

The United Nations Women Regional Director for UN Women Central and West Africa, Maxime Hounato, said that gender inequality is crippling the nation economy.
He noted that according to the gender-based violence records, violence against women is 90%, while others are 10%
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Hounato disclosed this in Abuja, at the press briefing, on his visit to Nigeria on a new phase of UN Women’s work in Nigeria and a new phase of advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nigeria and UN Women’s empowerment in Nigeria.

He asked government of Nigeria to commit specific percent of national budgets and development funds for women interventions that address gender disparity in Nigeria.

He said: “The gender based violence and gender inequality that was placed before in the social sector in terms of humanitarian consideration have now moved into the economic sector, where we recognize that gender inequality is crippling the economy.

“Women are at the heart of the building of human capital in the country through education, health and sanitation, and in the suffering of women is having a detrimental impact on the building of that human capital, which is at the center of productivity and economic growth.

“So we are happy that both government and the private sector have realized the importance of women in wealth creation. So, that gender inequality is no longer an issue of women, but rather an issue of men and the nation. So that has brought to the table, a lot of energy, a lot of actors that were not sensitive to the gender composition before.”

Houinato also hailed women in business for realising that for them to rise to the top of the difficult environment of business in Nigeria, said women need to be professional and collaborative.
He noted that political parties have started investing in the political education of women, when they realize that the vote of women at the assembly is important for them.

He added that, “Before when it was only two or three women’s, they didn’t care about women. They vote anyhow they want to. But as women became 30% to 40% half of the assembly. Then, they become thirsting for the party.

In her remarks, UN Women Representative to Nigeria, Beatrice Eyong, emphasized on the need for gender mainstreaming into macro economic and fiscal policies at level of the macro level.
Eyong said that there should be a law and policy that states at least a minimum percentage of all public contracts should go to women-owned businesses.

However, Hounato while commending the government said, “I’m happy to see the level of involvement of governments into this objective. And we are happy as the UN to support the Nigerian government achieve that because the figures that we are having in Nigeria is not good.

“Nigeria have been showing the way in a lot of areas in Africa. And we want Nigeria to also show the way in the area of political participation and the participation of women in leadership.”
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