Post-COVID-19 effect worsening gender poverty, experts affirm
Experts have said post-COVID-19 effect is widening gender poverty, with more women pushed into want than men. At a one-day workshop on Non-Targeting of Women Economic Collectives by the COVID-19 Stimulus programmes at national and sub-national levels, yesterday, in Abuja, they pointed out that most interventions by governments at cushioning impact of the pandemic have only yielded little result, saying their implementation has been difficult to track.
Professor of Economics at Bayero University Kano (BUK), Ummu Jalingo, said global economic downturn post-pandemic rendered 35 per cent women and 32 per cent of men unemployed worldwide in 2020.
She explained that Nigeria’s response to the outbreak via stimulus packages and non-pharmaceutical measures as adopted in most countries to avoid overwhelming the health sector, was poorly implemented, as those meant to access the palliatives were unable to do so or were very few.
Jalingo observed that in the country, economic measures adopted by the Federal Government were impinged by a number of challenges such as “issue of diversion of intervention materials, poor records and data capturing of interventions, collusion and connivance of officials and lack of transparency, among others.”
Director-General of National Centre for Women’s Development (NCWD), Dr. Asabe Bashir, noted: “Women are drivers of the economy everywhere in the world. Wherever you find any activity taking place, you find women taking the frontline.
“If the Nigerian government can get it right for women, I am sure lots of our problems will be solved. If the government can concentrate and prioritise the ministry in this regard, I am sure most of our problems will be solved.”
Also, Director of Programmes, Research and Policy Center (DRPC), Dr. Stanley Ukpai, said his organisation has been working with the Federal Ministry of Finance at developing a monitoring and evaluation framework.
He confirmed succeeding in piloting a component of the framework, which has to do with Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE), hence is deploying the framework indicators to enable tracking of WEE specific government projects.
“We just piloted that process and the document was launched formally in December last year, and is now being implemented. So, by the end of this year, we can begin to definitively say this is what government plans to do as regards its programmes and interventions,” he added.