The United Kingdom (UK) has launched a $100million direct funding for Women-owned enterprises in the country.
The fund which is presently held in First Bank of Nigeria is aimed at women empowerment.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing, yesterday at the Policy and Innovation Centre (PIC) Gender and Inclusion Summit 2022 themed: ‘connecting the dots for gender inclusive society’ in Abuja said the UK has supported 1.4 million additional girls educationally in the North-Eastern part of the country.
She said, “The UK has three areas focusing on Gender. The three Es which included, educating girls, empowering women and ending violence against women and girls. The UK has worked on education for decades now particularly in the north-east Nigeria where we have supported 1.4 million additional girls going to school.
“On the empowerment side, we recently launched a hundred million dollars programme through the first bank of Nigeria which will direct funding specifically to women owned enterprises. We are also digitising Humanitarian services and cash transfers so that women can receive money directly into their bank account which gives them more empowerment.”
United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard said the United States donated over $200b annually towards gender activity and equality programs globally.
She expressed the US mission works to promote environment which supports women’s success and address challenges that hold women back and to empower Nigerian women to do the same.
The ambassador added, “In Nigeria, literacy rate for women is 41 percent, which is 20 percent lower than it is for men. We understand parents prioritise schooling for boys while Nigerian girls leave school at a younger age than their male counterparts.
“The upcoming 2023 elections presents an critical opportunity to include more women in leadership positions in government. And we encourage women not only to vote on election day but also to consider running for office at all levels of government in the future elections.”
Chairman Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Niyi Yusuf stated it would take 132 years to close the global gender gap.
He added, “It reminds us that only when we achieve parity between the genders in decision-making when there is equal access to resources and opportunities, and when gender-sensitive policies are tailored to the needs of all can we say for sure that we live in an equal society.”