FG to empower women, girls through 50m Women Speak Platform

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The Federal Government says it will empower women and girls through the 50 Million Women Speak Platform (50MWSP) project to reduce gender gaps and promote entrepreneurial skills acquisition.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, hajiya Aisha Alhassan, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the inauguration of the project organised by the ministry.
Alhassan, represented by Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, said the initiative was borne out of the ministry’s operational mandate to reduce poverty and empower women and girls.
She said that the ministry would partner the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other sectors to achieve the desired goal.
“The project has become important because women form the major chunk of the nation’s population.
“Looking at our country, we are estimated to be 180 million people and almost half of that number makes up the women folk who are 90 million.
“So, targeting 50 million women is not being over ambitious and in particular, it is not for Nigeria alone, but also the West Africa sub-region’’.
She said: “The significance of the project is to get women across Nigeria to be empowered, to trade better, as well as sell and market their produce better.
“Not doing all the farming then somebody comes and takes and gives them pittance only to sell it at a higher rate.
“We want to teach them entrepreneurship for them to work with other people, especially the men folk, to have access to finances, to be more financially literate through technology.”
The minister noted that the project which sought to empower women to access funds and other resources using ICT and record keeping, would last from three to five years.
On the advantages of the project, she said they include reduction of gender inequality as well as encouragement of self-reliance among women in Nigeria and other countries that would be involved.
She, however, assured that strategic mechanism would be in place to monitor and supervise the project in a bid to ensure its effective implementation.
“There are several systems existing to monitor this; we are not going to do this alone, we are going to work with various sectors to implement this.
“They will be operating in different areas, overseeing larger groups and smaller catchment areas, to promote and improve the livelihood of women and vulnerable persons in the country,” she added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the event was the presentation of the project and adoption of a three months roadmap. (NAN)

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