Minister for Women Affairs and Youths Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan has disclosed the approval of $250 million World Bank project tagged, “Strengthening Women Economic Empowerment Programme (SWEEP),” to boost government’s financial inclusion programme for grassroots women in Nigeria.
The minister, who spoke as the leader of Nigerian delegation at the just concluded 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, canvassed the establishment of a conducive macro economic and labour market policy environment for women.
“The African Development Bank, on its part, is setting aside $5 million out of the $13 million economic growth stimulation project in Nigeria for women.
“UN women have also supported the ministry with the training of 600 women, who suffered various forms of violence as a result of the insurgency in the North East, on skills and techniques needed to access loans from the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF),” she said.
The minister, who canvassed the establishment of a conducive macro economic and labour market policy environment for women, said a conducive policy would help eliminate structural barriers and enable women earn equal pay for equal work with men.
“One of the utmost investments that countries can make to lift women from poverty and empower them economically is ensuring conducive policy and friendly environment, strengthening education, training and skills development to enable them respond to new opportunities”, she said.
Alhassan, however, expressed delight that Nigeria has scaled up its legislation on gender equality by pushing for the enactment of the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill.
She believed that the bill, when finally passed into law, will enable women whose rights to descent work are infringed upon to seek legal redress and be adequately remedied.
Earlier in his speech, Chairman of the Commission on the Status of Women, Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota said realising gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is a universal task and a common challenge that needs to be addressed in all corners of the world and by all stakeholders.
“It is a challenge that needs to be addressed with clarity of purpose”, he said,