By Dele Castro
The United States Government has pledged to commit $200 million for the empowerment of women and the pursuit of gender equality in Nigeria.
Speaking during an event organized by a policy innovation initiative titled “Gender and Inclusion Submit 2022”, the US ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, said much of the funding was targeted at addressing women’s empowerment within Nigeria.
On his part, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said that Nigeria’s plan to lift 100 million people out of poverty would be impossible without women empowerment.
Chaudhuri said, “In Nigeria, the goal is to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. It is a simple fact that without full economic participation and empowerment of women and girls, Nigeria will not attain that goal.”
He stressed the need for the government to partner with communities and the private sector to empower girls and women.
Also, during the panel, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, said that the Federal Government was making efforts to drive gender inclusion in the federal budgets and projects.
She noted that women had been the major beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
Chairman of NESG, Niyi Yusuf, cited the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 which showed that gender equality was far from being realized,
“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 of women and other marginalized groups.
The NESG chairman said responsibility was on everyone to pursue this fundamental call to human rights, which was a mission to save everybody from wealth loss.
“On Educational Attainment, Nigeria records higher levels of parity in secondary education and tertiary education enrolments. However, both the share of men and women in secondary education in 2022 were lower than in 2021, while both increased in tertiary education.”