Presidency Launches Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy In A’Ibom, Kano, Enugu, Others

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In a significant move towards advancing gender equality and economic empowerment, the Senior Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Women Affairs, Mrs. Fatima Faruk announced the launch of the domestication process for the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) policy in key states across Nigeria.

This initiative, which commenced following a two-day workshop attended by eight state commissioners of women affairs, aims to empower women economically and foster inclusive growth nationwide.

The workshops, held in states including Plateau, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Maiduguri, Kwara, Kaduna and Enugu, focused on providing guidelines for the effective implementation of the National Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy (WEE). Faruk emphasised the pivotal role of women in driving economic development, highlighting the transformative impact of empowering women on productivity, innovation and societal progress.

Mr. Aniye Osemud from the Ministry of Women Affairs provided insights into the framework and principles of the policy. He outlined the five core pillars of the policy, which include agriculture entrepreneurship, traditional labour markets, emerging industries, and education and skill acquisition. Osemud emphasised the importance of developing women’s capacities and supporting their participation in key economic sectors to unlock their full potential.

Representatives from women’s associations, such as the Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture and the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs (NAWE), expressed their support for the WEE policy. They highlighted the need for sustainable interventions targeting women and underscored the importance of economic cooperatives in addressing challenges such as access to credit and low self-esteem among women.

Mrs. Ruth Agbo from the Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture emphasised the urgency of empowering women and called for greater awareness and education at the grassroots level. She stressed the need for collaborative efforts to uplift women from economic hardship and enable them to thrive in various sectors.

Similarly, Mrs. Margaret Atseva from NAWE emphasised the importance of moving beyond policy documents to practical implementation. She highlighted ongoing efforts to train women on accessing interventions and forming cooperative societies to enhance economic empowerment at the grassroots level.

Participants at the workshop emphasised the need for effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at the state and local government levels to ensure the sustainability of the WEE policy. They called for smarter economic interventions leveraging technology and underscored the importance of women’s development centres in mobilising women for economic empowerment.

Commissioners of Women’s Affairs from different geopolitical zones pledged to drive the implementation of the WEE policy at the grassroots level. The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Ini Adiakpan emphasised the importance of policy frameworks in driving economic empowerment for women. She highlighted the need for robust monitoring mechanisms to assess the impact of interventions and address gaps in women’s economic empowerment.

The ongoing efforts to domesticate the National Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy signify a commitment to promoting gender equality and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. The policy offers a comprehensive framework to address gender disparities and empower women through enhanced access to finance, capacity building and skills acquisition. As Nigeria progresses towards achieving its development goals, empowering women economically remains a priority for building a more inclusive and prosperous society.

Racheal Abujah
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