The Minister of Women Affairs and
The minister spoke at the weekend when she received the executive members of the Nigerian Quintessential Business Women and the
Maina noted that the economic well-being of women was urgently required to guarantee their full participation in governance and decision making.
"My dream is to see that Nigerian women become economically and politically empowered and independent to enable them contribute more meaningfully to national development endeavours.
"This is because the most important independence anybody can acquire is economic independence. Once you are economically empowered, the sky is your limit," she stated.
She however regretted that there were several barriers to the full optimisation of women's economic potentials, ranging from cultural, religious, traditional, to legal discrimination.
Maina said the ministry has taken necessary steps to assist women to be financially independent through a multifaceted approach to mobilise funds and resources just as the ministry was speaking with the Central Bank of
This she said could be done by promoting financial inclusion through their various initiatives such as the N220 billion Micro,
The minister disclosed that to create access to loanable funds at the grassroots, the ministry established the
Earlier, the President of Nigerian Quintessential Business Women Association Shimite Katung, explained that with its over one million members across the country, the association had been supporting women to boost their economic enterprises, especially in agricultural and solid minerals productions, packaging and marketing.
The Executive Secretary,
And in another development, the minister said that despite lack of access to productive resources coupled with other constraints facing the Nigerian women, they still contribute about 70 per cent to the economic growth of the country.
Maina, who disclosed this when she received the
She regretted that established restrictive practices and constraints have not allowed the Nigerian women to take advantage of their numbers and position to significantly influence the decision making processes that will change their unfavourable position.
The minister noted that for the present condition of the Nigerian women to change more positively, deliberate efforts must be made to ensure that women have access to political and economic power at higher levels, adding that, "one way of doing this is to empower women both economically and educationally."
Maina said that empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and through all levels of economic activity was essential for building strong economies, establishing more stable and just societies, achieving internationally agreed goals for development, sustain ability and human rights as well as improving quality of life for women.
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