New Faces New Voice Nigeria (NFNV-Nigeria) and the Development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) have called for an increase in budget allocation for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) projects across Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference, the organisations said that the continuous dwindling in the allocation at both federal and state levels is capable of crippling the economic potential of women in the country.
NFNV-Nigeria Country Representative, Aishatu Aminu, revealed that federal allocation on WEE has dropped drastically from N103,496,035,287 in 2022 to N58,707,417,471 as captured in the 2023 Appropriation Bill.
She also noted that there is a huge gap in financial inclusion between men and women in Kano State.
The NFNV country head said the negative trend clearly contradict the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which encourage equitable treatment and empowerment for women and girls in the country.
She said more women are still living below the poverty line despite global advancement in almost all sectors of the economy, adding that less than two-thirds of women participate in the labour force compared to more than 90 percent of men.
‘WEE components give women access to income and assets, control of and benefit from society, and power to make decisions’, she said.
‘This means that denying women these opportunities has equally denied them voice, income, assets, opportunities and power to make their own decisions.
‘WEE components include all activities targeting women and young girls as economic actors, including capacity building, vocational training, skill acquisition, grants and start-up funds, livelihood support, empowerment materials, reorientation and rehabilitation’.
The NGOs demanded that both federal and state governments should sustain the increased allocation to WEE-related budgets and streamline WEE projects across agencies, ministries and departments of government for effective implementation.
Photo source: Kim Nowacki