By Levinus Nwabughiogu, ABUJA
Major stakeholders at the “African Women in Business Summit” have called on the Nigerian government to evolve deliberate policies and programmes that would enable the women to fully develop their God-given potentials for the good of the society.
Speaking at the Summit organised by Nigeria Outlook with the Theme: “Financial inclusion of Women: The African Economic Renaissance” the stakeholders stressed that the Nigerian and indeed, African women must be emancipated from socio-economic deprivations affecting their contributions to the development of their society.
The speakers were the Kaduna State deputy governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, the minister of women Affairs, Paullen Tallen and the minister of state, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ramatu Tijjani.
In her address at the event held in Abuja on Saturday, the deputy governor, Balarabe stated that economic inequalities between men and women have continued to be a concern to them.
She however said that Kaduna State government have prioritized human capital development with a special focus on women.
She said that there had been a deliberate policy of the state government to allow women to have access to credit facilities to start a business and strengthen grow the existing ones.
This, she said was subsumed in the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund created by the government.
She said: “We still have in this age where the girl child is not able to go to school, she has been seen as incapable of taking care of herself.
“Women suffer double lack and burden in our society today because the society has granted the male child a privilege role.
“Women have been abandoned in the home for giving birth to a girl child but we are going to change that.
“There are professions identified as feminist and some as exclusive preserved of men such as medical doctor. I remembered in my class as a medical doctor we were 45 and only 5 were girls”.
Also speaking, the minister of women Affairs, Paullen Tallen said that women had defiled all odds to impact the society, noting that about 40 per cent of registered entrepreneurs in Nigeria were women.
She said her ministry was working with all stakeholders to end all forms of discrimination against women and achieve socio-economic freedoms.
Also speaking, the minister of state, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ramatu Tijjani represented by Omolola Toyin said that the society will achieve rapid development if the women were allowed to occupy their rightful place.
“Development and growth will only be possible when women are engaged in all spheres of reforms and socio-economic policies in Africa and all other parts of the world”, she said.
In his remarks, Nigeria Representative of African Union (AU), Dr Tunji Ashaolu said, depriving women of their rights can be an abuse of human rights and gender-based violence.
He recalled that the African Heads of States had in 2013, at the anniversary of establishment of OAU enacted comprehensive seven steps framework for the development of the continent with a projection from 2013 to 2063.
Accordingly to him, the seven aspirations were similar to SDGs which served as a catalyst for the Africa continent on issues of women.
On his part, the Editor-in-Chief, Nigeria Outlook, Dahiru Ali, emphasized the need to allow the youth and the women to play their roles for the development of the society, noting that men had so far pervaded the space with little opportunities for the women to thrive.