The Country Director for Nigeria for the World Bank, Shubham Chaudhuri, has expressed that without the empowerment of women, Nigeria’s aim to bring 100 million people out of poverty would simply be unattainable.
The country director emphasized the necessity of the government working in conjunction with local communities and the commercial sector to empower women and girls.
Chaudhuri said, “In Nigeria, the goal is to lift a 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. It is simple fact that without full economic participation and empowerment of women and girls, Nigeria will not attain that goal.”
In the same vein, the United States government has committed $200m to women empowerment and equality programmes in Nigeria.
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, speaking at the Gender and Inclusion Summit 2022 organised by the Policy Innovation Centre, which is a brainchild of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja, said much of the funding was targeted at addressing women-related issues and empowering Nigerian women.
She said nations with gender equality had higher economic prosperity, noting that “the United States is committed to promoting women empowerment in Nigeria.”
Additionally, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, stated during the panel that the Federal Government was working to advance gender inclusion in federal budgets and projects.
She pointed out that the government’s cash transfer program for poor and vulnerable Nigerians had primarily benefited women.
The chairman of NESG, Niyi Yusuf, cited the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 as evidence that gender equality was still a long way off from being achieved.
“It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. The pandemic has done more than open our eyes to the economic vulnerability of our nations. It also opened our eyes to the plights women and other marginalized groups face,” he said, noting that statistics showed that the pandemic had disproportionately impacted women and other marginalised groups.
The NESG chairman stated that it was everyone’s duty to uphold this fundamental call to human rights, which was a mission to prevent anyone from suffering a loss of wealth.
“On Educational Attainment, Nigeria records higher levels of parity in secondary education and tertiary education enrolments. However, both shares of men and women in secondary education in 2022 were lower than in 2021, while both increased in tertiary education.”