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Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

Thursday, March 9, 2023

FOA set to launch Status of Women in Agrifood System - NaijaAgroNet

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has advanced plans to launch a new report entitled the Status of Women in Agrifood Systems, reports NaijaAgroNet.
FOA set to launch Status of Women in Agrifood System - NaijaAgroNet
FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol gave this at an event, co-hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in commemoration of the 2023 International Women's Day in Rome.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Women, excellent investment as finance leaders urge increased support - NaijaAgroNet

Leaders from multilateral development banks, financial institutions and the private sector called on peers to dispel myths about women being too “high risk” for financing and offer more financial services for women in business to close the gender finance gap, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“We know that women are a good bet. We know they pay back. We know they run excellent businesses – and yet they are not getting financed,” said Dr Jennifer Blanke, African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

An important step is for multilateral development banks to offer credit guarantees to commercial banks to invest in women entrepreneurs, Blanke said.

“We know that if we provide those guarantees, then the banks are going to be lending to a lot more women, and they are going to discover that women are an excellent bet – and are an excellent investment.”

Blanke and other leaders were speaking at the “Using Innovative Financing Mechanisms to Accelerate Finance for Women in Business” plenary panel session at the Global Gender Summit on Tuesday.

The international gathering of gender champions from government, finance institutions, multilateral development banks, civil society and private industry, runs from 25 - 27 November in Kigali, Rwanda.

Panelists acknowledged that strides have been taken to bring gender equity to financing. However, according to World Economic Forum data, at current rates of progress it will take at least 200 years to close the global pay gap between men and women.

Asian Development Bank’s Gender Lead, Sakiko Tanaka, noted this 2019 Global Gender Summit has seen increased awareness of the need for women’s financial inclusion to achieve gender equality.

“There’s more money coming in for gender equality. However, there are still major gaps globally and as well as in each region,” said Tanaka, who also serves as chairperson of the multilateral development bank working group on gender.

Women face unique constraints such as poorer access to collateral and land, running smaller business compared to male entrepreneurs and blurred lines between women’s personal and professional finance spend.

Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi (Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative) Secretariat and the panel moderator, led the six panelists in exploring how financial institutions and multilateral development banks are innovating to expand women’s access to finance. Aside from risk-sharing interventions like credit guarantees to lenders, panelists said increasing women’s financial literacy was also key to closing the gender gap.

“It’s not about corporate social responsibility or charity,” said panelist Barbara Rambousek, Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “It is about developing that business case and developing a proper set of financial and non-financial services.”

In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially and there is a $42 billion financing gap between men and women. Yet panelist Solomon Lartey, Managing Director and CEO of Activa International Insurance Ghana sees opportunity, particularly in West Africa, home to what he says is the world’s highest rate of women entrepreneurs.

“To get women where they want to be, we had to walk with them. The first thing is training them [about financial services], then granting them access to legal assistance and to financial education – we have to do all those things,” Lartey said.

The panel also discussed innovations related to financial technology, alternative credit information, and online tools for financial services as a way to grow businesses.

In some developing regions of the world, women face challenges getting basic documents like a birth certificate, required by commercial bank applications.

Tesi Rusagara, the head of Kigali Innovation City, said the more services for documentation and financing tools are brought online, the more value will be created for women.

John Wilson, CEO of Equity Bank, added that it is important to not only use data and technology in financial services, but to also have a physical presence where clients are, to make a human connection.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Nigerian women are resilience, dogged says Senator Tinubu - NaijaAgroNet

The Senator representing the Lagos-Central. State, Lagos State in the red chamber fo the National Assembly, under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Oluremi Tinubu has described Nigerian women as resilience, powerful and doggedness, reports NaijaAgroNet.
In her message to the celebration of the International Women's Day (IWD) 2019, Senator Tinubu declare she celebrates with Nigerian women all over the world on the occasion of the International Women’s day, 2019.
"Beyond the recognition of the struggles and achievements of womenfolk, it is a celebration of womanhood – her strength, resilience, power and doggedness," she declared.
Tinubu also said that this year, there are two themes in commemoration of International Women’s Day - ‘Balance for Better’ and 'Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.' 

She noted that while both themes may appear to be at variance, they are both pointers to the way forward in the quest for the protection of rights of women and a reminder that we must devise new strategies in the pursuit of gender equity and balance.

"It is apparent that to adequately entrench the rights of women, abrogate gender based violence and ensure equal opportunities for all, men have a role to play. Conscripting men into gender based discussions and actions will enable us address issues of gender disparity, equality in every strata of life, ensure gender balance in government, employment, remuneration of employees and wealth creation," she said.

Hence, she enjoined men to speak up in support of women, stressing that gender balance will benefit humanity and nationhood generally.

In addition, she said, women must rise up and equip themselves to fill gaps in politics, public office, and management. 

"This can only be done if we are all ready to make a difference, speak up for worthy causes and impact on our immediate communities, the type of change we wish to see," she said.
Senator Tinubu went on to congratulate women all over the world and Nigeria in particular, assuring of her unwavering commitment to the empowerment of Nigerian women.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

African women shine @Anzisha Prize Awards'18 - NaijaAgroNet

The Mastercard Foundation and African Leadership Academy are thrilled that 22-year-old healthcare entrepreneur Melissa Bime has won the US$25,000 Grand Prize at the 8th annual Anzisha Prize awards gala. She is the founder of INFIUSS, an online blood bank and digital supply chain platform that ensures patients in 23 hospitals in Cameroon have life-saving blood when and where they need it. She is only the second woman to win the grand prize since Best Ayiorworth took it home in 2013.

“Today, I stand here to represent every young girl out there that just has her dreams,” said Melissa Bime during her acceptance speech. “I stand here to represent this amazing group of entrepreneurs that I am a part of. With these people, the future of Africa is very bright. We are going to change this continent.”

Melissa was selected from among 20 finalists during a ceremony on 23 October that was live streamed to over 3,000 viewers and created a social media buzz across the continent.

The first runner up, 18-year-old Alhaji Siraj Bah will receive US$15,000 in prize money. He is the founder of Rugsal Trading in Sierra Leone, a company that produces handcrafted paper bags as well as briquettes for cooking fuel. Alhaji hopes that the funds will boost the impact his business is already having and will enable him to hire more youth from his community. “I had only US$20 dollars when I started and I have created an impact already,” said Bah. With US$15,000, I am going to impact 7.5 million Sierra Leonians’ lives in less than five years. It will happen.”

Joan Nalubega, 21, was the second-runner up. She is the co-founder of Uganics, which produces mosquito-repellent soap to combat malaria inUganda. With the US$12,500, she will conduct a certification study for the company’s products and prepare Uganics for export to neighboring countries which will help to widen her impact in the fight against malaria.

The keynote speaker, renowned entrepreneur Sim Shagaya spoke plainly about the challenges faced by the continent but was confident that young entrepreneurs are best placed to solve them. He concluded his inspiring remarks with a simple message to the finalists, “you must lead!”

“We are proud of all 20 finalists and are excited to see two young and dynamic women taking home top prizes,” said Koffi Assouan, Program Manager, Mastercard Foundation. “Their contributions will continue to impact their countries and they are role models for other young women across the continent. They are demonstrating how to turn obstacles into opportunities that create value and jobs for others.”

The Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation. The 20 finalists spent 10 days in a business accelerator camp strengthening their business fundamentals before presenting their ventures to a panel of judges that included Ntuthuko Shezi, Bita Diamomande, Saran Kaba Jones, and Polo Leteka. They join a pool of more than 85 Anzisha Fellows and a network of support that includes access to mentors, experts, and networking. Each returns home with a US$2,500.

“This year was exciting in that we announced our new efforts to support the parents of very young entrepreneurs in Africa,” said Josh Adler, Vice President of Growth and Entrepreneurship at African Leadership Academy. “Our new book – Raising the Boss – uncovers the critical role they play and how we must invest in them if we are to see more young people confidently choosing an entrepreneurship career path post school.”

Applications for the next cycle of the Anzisha Prize will open on 15 February in 2019. Nominations for promising youth entrepreneurs are welcome all year round.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Support to smallholder farmers, women, youth top agenda @Mauritania

The imperative of supporting smallholder farmers, women and youth are top on the agenda for a forthcoming meeting between the President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The meeting, according to David Florentin Paqui of IFAD Communications Division in Nouakchott, affirmed to NaijaAgroNet, said would be witnessed by senior officials of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, to discuss how investment in agriculture could ensure food and nutrition security and create jobs for rural people, particularly women and youth.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that in Mauritania, 41 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, and half depend on agriculture for their income, whereas farming generates 25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), hence, small farms are vital for the country’s food security as well as its economy.

During an official three-day visit to the country starting Monday, April 9, Houngbo hinted his meeting with the Mauritanian President and Prime Minister, Yahya Ould Hademine would have support for smallholders farmers, women and youth top on agenda.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet gathered that a joint working meeting with the Minister of Economy and Finance, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Livestock and the Minister of Environment will focus on the role of smallholder farmers in ensuring food security in Mauritania, the challenge of climate change, and the opportunities agriculture can offer to young people in rural areas.

Investing in a new generation of smallholder farmers is essential. Of Mauritania’s 4 million people, 40 per cent are under 15 years of age, 60 per cent are under 25 and only 5 per cent are over 60. Half of the population derives their livelihoods from raising crops and livestock and fishing. Although the country is self-sufficient in red meat and fish, it imports 60 per cent of other staple foodstuffs, particularly rice, vegetables, sugar and cooking oil.

IFAD and the government of Mauritania are working together to improve food security and nutrition, increase the incomes of poor rural households, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on food imports. Since 1980, IFAD has financed 14 projects and programmes in Mauritania for a total of $342.3 million, including $136.2 million from IFAD’s own resources, directly benefitting nearly 190,470 Mauritanian rural households.

Houngbo will deliver a keynote address at the opening session of the Regional Implementation Forum organized in Nouakchott by the West and Central Africa Division of IFAD. Later, he will join Lemina Mint El Ghotob Ould Moma, Minister of Agriculture, in Kiffa to meet with rural people benefiting from an IFAD-supported Poverty Reduction Project in Aftout South and Karakoro – Phase II designed to help build, an economic and social fabric based on sustainable natural resource management that is inclusive of poor rural households, particularly women and young people. Because of its achievements in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, this project was a recipient of a 2017 IFAD Gender Award.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Applause for Lagos: As more women embrace family planning

It was an applause time for the centre of excellence, Lagos as more women have embraced the state family planning programmes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Investigations by NaijaAgroNet, showed that some Lagos women gave this indication in chat at the weekend, highlighting the fact that they have overcome the myths, challenges and misconceptions surrounding family planning uptake and the likely side effects.

This follows recent reports that the uptake of family planning method in Lagos State has been on the rise, dispelling the myth and misconception on family planning thereof.

Amongst the most common of these myths are perceptions that family planning causes excessive bleeding and infertility. However, a soaring number of women have overcome these challenges.

A few of them who shared their experiences with NaijaAgroNet, explained how they overcame the myths, challenges and misconceptions surrounding family planning uptake and the side effects.

One of the women, Mrs Fatiyasat Abdul, (real name withheld) a 34 year old trader and a mother of three had little knowledge of Family planning when she got married over a decade ago.

Abdul said she belonged to the group of Nigerian women that believe it is God that gives children and provides for their upkeep, hence no faith in family planning.
This perception, however, changed when Fatimah Abdul was pregnant with her second child five years after marriage, when a health provider educated her about family planning and its benefits.

Mrs Abdul narrated her experience in Lagos, pointing out how her initial excitement about the advantages of family planning was dampened by friends who discouraged her about it, claiming that family planning will make her bleed, become infertile and then develop fibroids.

“My friends in the market place discouraged me, saying family planning will make me not to have children again, and blood will be gushing out of my body without stopping. That actually discouraged me.”

However, Abdul remarked that if not for her husband who encouraged her to go back to the hospital after she had her second child, she probably would not have continued the family planning.

“I was always afraid to do it because of what my friends told me. That was why I had to stop after six months of using the injectable. I was able to space my children because my husband used the withdrawal method. But when I finally gave birth to my last child, I went to the family planning unit of Lagos Island Maternity Hospital. They educated me on the benefits of family planning along with the side effects which can be managed.

“It was at that point I realized that what my friends at the market place were saying was all lies and I also realized that my husband struggles to pay the school fees of our children and he could be helped if we embrace family planning,” she said.

And for Betty Samson, a 42-year old beautician and a mother of two said she heard about family planning over the radio and was able to do injectable, when she travelled to South Africa, after her first child.

Unfortunately, she experienced some complications as she was bleeding continuously after her menstruation. When she went back to the clinic to report her experience, the provider asked her to continue.

When the bleeding continued, she stopped the use. After 10 years, she has conquered her fears and decided to go back to using a family planning method but this time, an implant.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Performance Monitoring and Accountability (PMA2020) identified that Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in the state has increased drastically in recent time.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ICTs essential to empowerment, success of poor rural women

The role of information communications technologies in supporting rural women's economic empowerment, voice and status, was the focus of discussions at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 8 March, International Women’s Day, reports NaijaAgroNet.

IFAD, together with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), will highlight the role that innovations in information and communications technologies (ICTs) can play in expanding rural women's opportunities in value chains and enterprise development, while increasing their access to education and information.

Many women, particularly young rural women, lack access to productive resources such as land, credit and technology. Women lag behind in terms of their access to ICTs, with only 41 per cent of women in low-and middle income countries owning mobile phones compared to 46 per cent for males. Nearly two-thirds of women living in the South Asia and East Asia and Pacific sub-regions do not own a mobile phone. Rural women regularly lack access to health care, education, decent work and social protection. As a consequence, they are more likely to be poor and they are vulnerable to economic and climatic shocks.

ICTs can go a long way to boosting economic opportunities for rural women. Mobile and smartphones, for example, provide access to real-time information on prices in different markets and allow more informed choices about where and when to buy and sell. Studies indicate that when women earn money, they are more likely than men to spend it on food for their families and the education of their children.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, OP

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Expert decries more women paying for family planning services in Lagos

Reproductive health expert has decried the rising charges on women seeking family planning in Lagos State, and called for more funding to health sector to help cushion the effect, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The co-Principal Investigator for the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), Dr. Funmi OlaOlorun, expressed her displeasure in Lagos, over the charges on women in need of family planning services, saying this has been on the rise as more women get involved.

Lagos, which has about 112 service delivery points, she said, change fees on family planning, with the points estimated at 65 public and 47 private facilities, which represents 26.2 and 10.6 per cents respectively in public and private clinics.

Family planning indicators, she said, must cut across, calling upon government and all well-meaning investors, to allocate more funds on consumables and logistics to ensure improved impact on family planning programmes, and reduce the charges even though its prevalent in both public and private clinical facilities.

Dr. Olaolorun while sharing the scorecard on the per cent of public and private clinical facilities alongside the offering and current in and out of stock by methods survey in Lagos, told NaijaAgroNet that government could also offer vouchers to the poorest women by using an equity approach and graded billing system.

Other Family Planning Indicators, she pointed out to include access, equity, quality and choice, just as out of the seven states sampled, consisting of 302 Enumeration Areas (EA), Lagos State had 52.

The programme, NaijaAgroNet recalls was supported by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health , Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University) as well as Pathfinder International and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Women Deserve Care, Not Abuse

The life of an average woman elicits some kind of sympathy from me. I'm sorry for using the word "sympathy" which sounds rather derogatory.

Every woman lives her life in some forms of natural pains. Every maltreatment meted on her in the society only compounds these pains.

After birth, the girl child undergoes genital mutilation (now being prohibited in the society) At school age, she is considered to "belong to the kitchen and the other room." She is denied western education which automatically goes to her sibling - the boy.

At puberty, she experiences pains as her body grows into adulthood. She groans at every menstrual period, and the boy even makes jest of her.

Many girls who are denied education are soon handed over to waiting suitors in marriage. The girl child begins her journey into life of possible misery. She may not have a voice in family's decision, she gives birth as her husband desires, lives her life in abject poverty and in avoidable sickness. Her lifespan is cut short. She dies too soon and leaves behind children who may be without a good future.

For girls who are lucky to be in school, they eventually get married and have their share in the pains.

The woman becomes pregnant and falls sick. She carries her fetus for nine months and is delivered of her baby in great pains. Let me explain this further. The day I began to respect my wife and every woman the more was the day my baby was born. I was there in the labour room. I used my position as President of Association of Nigeria Health Journalists to plead with doctors and nurses that attended to her to see her in the room twice)

Only hell fire could produce more agonizing experience. And, I concluded, as I believe till date, and till I will die, that no man can face or endure pain like a woman.

The woman gives birth to her baby, she nurses the baby for two years of mostly sleepless nights. She doesn't sleep until the baby sleeps. She endures, even when there is nothing to eat, nor money to spend. Instead of nagging over these, she becomes prayer warrior and goes into fasting, even when breastfeeding!

There is one more important thing I want to say. Imagine a woman, she attends to her children in the house, she does most part or all the house chores, she works to support the home expenditures. After all the day's stress, the husband will still sleep with her at night. He will expect that he must satisfy himself, with all the stress the woman has gone through in the day.

What more will I say? I remember the time my was sick when he was bringing out teeth, my wife (and my sister) came out of the house at 1:00am to look for the baby's medication far away from the house. That is typical of an average woman.

Can you remember the roles women play whenever anyone is sick in the house or workplace?

Our society gives glory of what happens in families to men and the opposite goes to women.

Despite all these, imagine how our women endure marriage. Many men are not even ready to settle down with any woman. Some see women as necessary evil. Consequently, most ladies are out there begging God to give them a home. I even heard someone yesterday tell his wife whom he has refused to feed with her children to leave his house. He told the wife: "There are hundreds of you waiting at the door, praying that you leave so they could come in." Judgment belongs to God, hope you remember?

I have often made this argument that no matter how bad or wicked a woman could be to man, she was probably taught to behave that way by a man. That is, she is wicked because a man had been wicked to her.

I quite understand that some women could be irresponsible, but from my experiences, men are much more guilty in issues which arise from how both men and women deal with each other.

I call on all men to respect and honour the female folks - women and girls. They deserve to be respected and cared for. Remember, we shall all give account of our deeds before God at the end.

*Contributed by Marcus Fatunmole

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Pix: Mrs Aisha Buhari and Mrs. Osinbajo

Thursday, May 18, 2017

She Leads Africa launches 2017 accelerators for women

A social enterprise dedicated to supporting young African women towards professionalism, the She Leads Africa (SLA) has launched its 2017 accelerators programme to last for some 90 days, reports NaijaAgroNet.

SLA, NaijaAgroNet gathered focuses on guiding young African women to success through online content and offline programmes, leveraging on its alliances.

NaijaAgroNet  also reports that the 2017 Accelerator consists of one week residencies in the four locations where entrepreneurs would receive training from the SLA team and business leaders and experts.

The four locations across Nigeria, NaijaAgroNet reports include the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Kaduna.

NaijaAgroNet  further reports that the 3-month programme has been designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest entrepreneurs.

According to the organisers, during these residencies, entrepreneurs will be focused on business strategy, growth, marketing, finance and distribution.

“They will also receive a host of on and offline training as well as an opportunity to pitch their business to national and international investors,” NaijaAgroNet  was told in a press statement.

This 2017 SLA Accelerator is run in partnership with the Work in Progress! Alliance - a consortium of Oxfam, Butterfly Works and VC4A focused on driving job creation and youth employment in Nigeria. The Kaduna Agribusiness cohort is sponsored by OCP.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying should visit for more information on or before June 25, 2017.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Opeke canvasses women inspiring support beyond work place

The chief executive officer, Main One, Mrs. Funke Opeke has canvassed for the role of women in technology and business to involve inspiring beyond the workplace, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at the 5th annual Women of Impact Conference (WOI) organized by Cisco in Lagos in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, with the theme, “It’s Time. Collaborate. Lead. Inspire” Opeke wanted the role of women in technology and businesses to involve inspiring not just women within a given organization, but also the men and women outside their professional environment.

“It is great to see companies like Cisco taking the role of women in the work place seriously and they are a few of the strongest advocates for women and what they have to offer in their businesses and this is inspiring” she said.

Cisco, Opeke noted, is very good at leveraging diverse people, views and technology in order to solve the most complex of challenges in the society.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Cisco Nigeria, Mr. Olakunle Oloruntimehin, said that they cherish innovation and promotes diversity.

“We believe that a company can highly hinder its innovation if it does not promote diversity,”  Oloruntimehin said.

The Information Technology (IT) industry, he said, represents huge potential for women, but they must take risks, overcome obstacles, and blaze new trails to be successful. Cisco has always been at the forefront of efforts to hire, nurture, promote and support women, especially in technical fields and leadership roles. Cisco prides itself in its commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Collaboration.

“In fact, Cisco has five very powerful women forming part of the Executive Leadership team. Their contribution has been part of Cisco’s success story,” Mr. Oloruntimehin submitted.

Equally invited to speak was Ms. Temi Giwa-Tubosun Nigerian-American health manager and founder/CEO of Life Bank, a social enterprise using technology and smart logistics to match blood to patients.

She was named in 2014 by the BBC as one of the 100 Women changing the world. Giwa-tubosun said, “I do my work each day thinking about women and what I can do to impact their lives and not a lot of IT and networking organizations in Nigeria celebrate women or even recognize international women’s day, but Cisco has continually shown its commitment to women and the value they provide in the technology industry.”

 Uj. Dominic/GEE
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Why helping women is key to international aid, development

I am near the town of Ziniaré, about a two-hour drive from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. A hundred people are gathered under a huge baobab tree to welcome me before my visit to an agricultural project run by the Léger Foundation. Food insecurity affects about half of the country’s population.

After a short speech, I am taken to a small goat farm. Standing beside the fence, Iboudo Assèta tells me a story I will never forget.

Iboudo is a widow and the mother of six children. She is living with HIV and was identified by the project as a person who might have to leave her community to go to the city in order to provide for her family. Thanks to the work of our partners, she was able to access training, a business start-up kit and AIDS treatment.

Iboudo quickly decided to start up a farm with three animals provided by the project. With the support of a local training centre, she managed to expand her herd. She is now able to provide for her whole family with her new income. Her children are healthy, have enough to eat and go to school. One of her greatest sources of pride is having installed solar panels, which help them to do their homework in the evening.

Iboudo was not asking for help. On the contrary, she kept telling me how proud she is of her independence. Proud to be able to provide for her family. Proud to have escaped levirate, a custom that forces widows to marry their deceased husband’s brother.

A model of success for the women of her community, she passes on her know-how and expertise. Every day, she talks about how a person’s life can change simply by having access to the right resources.

This woman’s story affected me deeply because she shows the important role of women as agents of change in their communities. Iboudo and her story are part of a powerful evidence base that will underpin Canada’s new international assistance policy. This is a policy that will tackle gender inequalities. A policy that will address the significant obstacles faced by women and girls all around the world. A policy that will recognize the active role that women and girls can and must play in society for everyone’s benefit.

Our broad-cased consultations and the important evidence support this vision of development. According to the State of World Population 2016, a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a 10-year-old girl’s life trajectory will be the true test of whether the 2030 Agenda (the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations) is a success or a failure. And that trajectory is littered with pitfalls. 

For example, we still see serious gaps in access to sexual and reproductive health services. Every year, out of desperation, an estimated 22 million women and girls endanger their lives by undergoing unsafe abortions. The same is true for access to education. Because girls are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence or early and forced marriage, 62 million teenage girls in the world do not go to school or are frequently absent. That is double the number of boys.

To make a real difference, Canada must invest strategically. We have to consider women and girls at the beginning of every process. Are they being consulted? Are they involved in decisions? Do they play a role in implementing our programs and leading in solutions? In administrative terms, the empowerment of women is not a checkbox at the bottom of a form. It is the careful application of gender analysis to every project we fund.

Like Iboudo, the 400 participants in the Léger Foundation’s project form the “first brigade of pioneers” in the fight for food security. When they are given the resources to achieve their full potential, these strong, independent, engaged women are the most powerful agents of change, development and peace. They are the pillars on which we rely to address poverty and inequality, to adapt to climate change and to enhance peace and security in the world.

In this International Development Week, I would like to thank all Canadians and our partners who are working hard to build a fairer, more inclusive, more sustainable world.

Despite the magnitude of the challenges we are facing, let’s remember, like Iboudo, that significant change is brought about by the sum of all the little victories.

*Contributed by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Anambra speaker, Rita Maduagwu says property rights for women non-negotiable

The Speaker of the Anambra State, House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, has said that property rights for Nigerian women is no longer negotiable, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Maduagwu in a lecture entitled “Property Rights of Women, Nigerian Perspective,” to the Anambra State Women Association Lagos (ASWAL) at the Colonedes Hotels Ikoyi, Lagos, to mark the 25 years of the association, said that constitutionally, this issue has been taken care of over 17 years.

Rt. Hon Maduagwu also identified cultural inequalities and gender barriers to property rights ‎drawing comparisons in Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa customs.

She cited extant laws to drive home her argument for equal opportunities, and pointed out that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has abolished most of the discriminations against women.

She further said that the abolition affords Nigerian women to own properties in the country.

NaijaAgroNet notes that Anambra State Women Association Lagos was formed 25 years ago by Anambra women resident in Lagos with the aim of promoting peaceful coexistence among ndi-Anambra,  welfare of the members  to enlighten women on their roles  towards building Anambra State and to help the vulnerable and the poor in the society to name a few.
Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE
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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Amb. Idro disappointed by elites, says they abandoned women farmers

The chairman of the Uganda-based Leveraging Excellence in Agricultural Development (LEAD), Ambassador Philip Idro has expressed disappointment on elites claiming to be championing growth of agriculture on the continent of Africa, alleging they have abandoned women farmers, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He made his views known at the sideline events on Accelerating Africa’s Rise: Maximising Non-State Actors’ Potential for Results and Impact at the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum ongoing in Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Amb. Idro described women as the brains behind the food on the glass tables of the elites.

Amb. Idro charged the facilitators of the session, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) to be more people oriented, because no matter whatever happens, the people are the majority and even more than those in government, but needed adequate mobilization and enlightenment.

The former Ugandan ambassador to China also lamented that despite the role of women in development of agriculture, large number of them especially in Africa have been abandon and neglected in the rural areas by those who should cater for them.

These attitudes, he said, have led to lack of social amenities to better the lives of these women and children who form large number of the smallholders and subsistence farmers across the continent.

“I am disappointed at the elites who have abandoned our rural women,” he decried, noting that these women from day breaks, wake up to ensure there is food prepared for everyone in the house including their husbands, and use estimated about two-hours to search and fetch water daily, very often with children at the back.

He also lamented that infact by the time they finished preparing breakfast and head to the farms, a little time later, it will be lunch and then after working all day, gets home to start another round of dinner preparation and of course without forgetting to make the husband happy eventually.

He wondered why such a person or group of persons will not fail sick if not by the grace of God, stressing that unfortunately, those who have passed through these rural women, forget soon and very easily to plough back in the areas of improving their lives with social amenities like good roads to move their produce to a larger market, clinics and schools.

Ambassador Idro, therefore charged the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) to work on reversing these trends so as to properly empower women especially in Africa.

Other panelists at the session include the Executive Director, ACORD, Mr. Ousainou Ngum, One Campiaign representative to the African Union (AU) and East Africa, Dorine Nininahazwe, Deputy Regional Director at Oxfam, Ms Dedo Mate-Kodjo, deputy chairman of CNC, Mr. Cris Muyunda, chief executive officer of East Africa Farmers Federation, Mr. Stephen Muchiri and was moderated by the Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah.

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi/GEE
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Pix: Amb. Idro speaking

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Over 5000 market women protest in Abuja over land grabbing

Estimated 5,000 traders, including market women and widows under the auspices of Association of Wuye Ultra Modern Market Allottees (AWUMMA) on Sunday in Abuja staged a protest over alleged continued harassment, intimidation and suppression by All Purpose Shelters, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The protesters also called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene in the market crisis despite subsisting judgement by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court demanding that traders take possession of their shops.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as,"Mr President, defend the poor traders from persecution"; "Disobedience of court order is corruption"; and "Democracy on trial at Wuye market."

NaijaAgroNet gathered that All Purpose Shelters is owned by the Wife of immediate past Governor of Benue State, Mrs Yemisi Suswan.

On July 28 2016, the market reopened for business through the combined efforts of armed mobile policemen from FCT Police Command and Wuye Police Station. However, the next day, the traders were chased away from the market by security men allegedly acting on instructions from 'the above.'

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the protest, the Chairman of AWUMMA, Comrade Nnaemeka Nwobodo called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC),World Human Rights, Due Process Office and good spirited individuals to "rise up for justice today for our tomorrow."

Nwobodo decried that over 5000 members of AWUMMA have resolved to lay down their lives for justice today except if President Buhari intervenes in the crisis even as they enjoined the Presidency to call the FCT Commissioner of Police to order who they accused of obstructing justice in Wuye market. 

Equally speaking, the Public Relation Officer, AWUMMA, Barr. Sunny Anyanwu noted that after three and half legal battle at the High Court Apo, that the court on 29th April 2015 delivered a landmark judgement in favour of the traders under AWUMMA.  

"It was on the strength of victory again at the Appeal Court that traders wrote to the then FCT Commissioner of Police, Usman Alkali who directed that the court judgement should be respected after obtaining due legal opinion,” he said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Monday, April 20, 2015

‘We’ve done lots of work on women to know their duties’



 Apostle Henry  Iwuchukwu, Founder/Caretaker,Ark of Jesus Covenant Church International (aka Jesus is the Answer) has revealed that his church has transformed the women in the  ministry to be able to carry out their duties at home as wives, NaijaAgroNet  reports.

He made this known to NaijaAgroNe tduring the One Year Anniversary cum Mothers’ day of Women of Ark of Jesus Covenant Church in Lagos, stressing that it’s not just coming out to shine in public but also to know their duties as women and also wives.

“Today they can testify to the goodness of God that the virtuous woman as theme of the one year anniversary is most appropriate.,” Iwuchukwu said, pointed out that every woman has a responsibility which must start from the home, promising that in the next edition he will nominate a woman among themselves to speak to them and not from outside as was witnessed this year.

Pastor Mrs. Vivian Anyiam, the Women leader, had earlier confided in NaijaAgroNet that she has made sure that the women respect their husbands, take care of their children and homes. She also stated that between January and middle of April there has been fifteen naming ceremonies in the church, that the Lord is actually using the man of God to do a lot of miracle in the church.
She also said they teach them humility, even as she is building a standard in them, to take care of the less privilege, be obedient and humble themselves before God.

Equally speaking with NaijaAgroNet, the guest pastor, Pastor Mrs.Evangelist Favour Igbokwe outlined the characteristics of a virtuous woman to include trustworthiness, positive influence,  being a planner, hardworking, investing for the home, she helps her husband to become successful.
She stressed that a woman should not change overnight because the husband has noting doing again. She also confided in NaijaAgroNet that one can become rich while doing the work of God but must first of all have passion for the kingdom. She said that in a sinful and immoral society, to become a virtuous woman the church should regularly organize programmes such as witnessed today and that men and women of God should dwell on the truth and not to be afraid that raw truth would scare members away

Pastor Mrs. Iwuchukwu also spoke to NaijaAgroNet on how she has been of help in assisting the husband to take adequate care of members. According to her, she regularly calls them together for counselling.

Yet for another member, Mrs. Grace Michael, the Treasurer of Ark of God Women, being itsthe day of mothers, they are working in one accord, that is why everybody is in a beautiful andcolourful to the glory of God.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ GEE

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