The group urged the president to consider the implementation of the policy as a national strategy to “unlock the potential” of Nigerian women and ensure national growth and development.
The development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC) and other stakeholders in gender and women’s empowerment space have called on President Bola Tinubu Thursday to implement the National Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) policy approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
They said this at a programme with the theme “Formal Validation of the Roadmap to Foster Key National Conditions for Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Enterprises Formalisation in Nigeria.”
The programme was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and with the participation of the dRPC in Abuja.
The group urged Mr Tinubu to consider the implementation of the policy as a national strategy to “unlock the potentials” of Nigerian women and ensure national growth and development.In May, Mr Buhari approved the WEE policy saying it would help bring about optimal development in Nigeria where women constitute about 50 per cent of the population.
In her speech, Plangsat Bitrus, the director of Gender at the dRPC, stressed the significance of the national women empowerment policy at a time when countries are taking gender equality very seriously.
She said the eight major targets of the policy are critical for Nigeria to attain by the year 2028.
The target is for Nigeria to be among the nine top countries on the World Economic Forum global gender gap index; become one of the top 40 countries on the economic participation and opportunities sub-index; increase Nigeria’s women labour force participation to 65 per cent from the current 55 per cent by the same year; increase the percentage of women in agriculture to 30 per cent from the current 19.6 per cent and increase women’s corporate leadership to 25 per cent.
Other targets of the policy are to achieve 75 per cent financial inclusion for women and increase girls’ secondary enrolment to 75 per cent.
Ms Bitrus said achieving these targets will make Nigeria legal and judicial friendly to gender and women’s economic empowerment. “It will also place the nation amongst the most developed in terms of conditions, regulations and reforms aimed to improve access to finances, training, opportunities, and economic growth for the women population,” she said.
Ms Bitrus added that it’s “obvious for Nigeria to achieve its potentials in economic growth, recommendations of the WEE and NGP alongside other national inclusion policies must be implemented at the national and sub-national levels.”
Conversations also touched on the formalisation of women-owned businesses to ensure that women entrepreneurs are competitive.
Experts said the formal registration of women businesses remains the only intervention “to give financial independence, bargaining power, and self-esteem to women-run businesses while increasing their exposure to local and international markets, and access to digital infrastructure and platforms.”
“There must also be deliberate policy relaxation to ease access to opportunities for women businesses,” the group said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, disclosed that the roadmap is launched as part of the implementation support to the National WEE policy and is designed in line with the federal government’s vision to open the potential of Nigerian women to compete favourably with their counterpart in the global north.
Similarly, in her comments, ILO’s Country Director, Venessa Phala, said the roadmap identified stakeholders and mapped out strategies that will be followed to improve the condition of Nigerian women.
“The roadmap has six major recommendations, and these are strengthening WEE programmes, empowering women in formal and informal sectors, developing sex-disaggregated data for policy guidance, and inclusion of semi-formal enterprises as part of the categories of SMEs in Nigeria,” she said.
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Publish date : 2023-09-30 10:28:46