The Honourable Minister of Women affairs Dame Pauline Tallen along with the implementing partners of the ministry marked the United Nations International rural Women and food day with unveiling of the ‘Livelihood Support Programme for rural women in Nigeria’ to mark the United Nations International rural women and food day.
The minister who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Engr Adebiyi Olufunso officially unveiled the Livelihood Support Programme for Rural Women in Nigeria to support them towards ensuring food security in Nigeria.
According to the Minister, the need to support rural women stems from the fact that besides reducing poverty, promoting social protection and curtailing sexual exploitation this programme has great potential for promoting women’s economic empowerment and reducing gender inequalities. She further reiterated that the contribution of current social protection schemes to these development goals is still limited. When women are designated transfer recipients, social protection schemes can facilitate their access to resources and promote their role as decision-makers in the household; however, these outcomes do not happen automatically.
Also speaking at the event the representative of the Country Coordinator United Nations Women in Nigeria, Patience Ekechukwu noted that rural women are to be celebrated for their efforts in securing food supply in the Nigerian scenerio.
She also emphasized that United Nations Women is designed to enhance rural women’s livelihoods, notably land, livestock, agricultural inputs (such as seeds, fertilizers and pest management inputs), agricultural tools and machinery, and bicycles or motorized vehicles. It also includes hired labour working on women’s fields, ponds, and in other activities. The outcomes are higher incomes, agricultural productivity, access to credit and extension, and more bargaining power at household and community levels.
The representative of Central Bank of Nigeria at the event assured the ministry of their usual support and reiterate that the CBN has create micro finance banks in rural areas as part of initiatives to help rural women and support the ministry’s initiative.
C4D -SEED Project, a partner with the ministry on the programme revealed that two (2) women in every council ward in the federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be selected and provided with improved seedling and grants to boost farming capacity.As the part the the activities to mark this year’s International Women’s day, the Ministry in collaboration with her implementing partners is organizing a 4 days retreat which is slated to hold in Lagos on a later date.
Hon. Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir the Director General of National Center for Women Development speaking at the close of the event noted, “When you lift up women, you lift up humanity”, she also assured women that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has place immense attention on women in Nigeria as it’s evident in the government policies. She urged women to take advantage of the opportunity to improve their welfare and further enhance their role in food production in Nigeria.