Women Minister tasks Nigerian women to key into Renewed Hope Agenda, speak up for their rights


By Palma Ileye

Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye has urged Nigerian women to key into the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration to achieve development.

Kennedy-Ohanenye gave the charge during a press briefing to commemorate International Women Day which comes up on the 8th March, 2024.

She said, “The President wants to do a whole lot, can he come out and do it all alone, that is why he has his soldiers, his Ministers, DGs, Civil Servants, these are his soldiers that will do what he needs to get the country right.

“Now I am asking the women, now we have the backing of Mr President, don’t you think we should use that opportunity to fight our course in very peaceful way like mothers that we are and get things right for ourselves

“No money that comes into this country, every donor, the only write up you put up today that donors will give you money is when it concerns women and children, so most money that comes into the country are meant for us, are we accessing it, is it actually coming to you, should we continue keeping quiet?”

The Minister called on women to speak up against challenges affecting their rights and work towards achieving sustainable development and growth so as to contribute their quota in the society.

Also, Representatives of the UN Women said that the theme aligns with the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, CSW 68 which is Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and giris by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.

Adding that, “Aligning the themes of the two global events is strategic, as it will help mobilize and galvanize the necessary awareness and advocacy needed to amplify the importance of inclusive economy in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and women’s leadership from the home to the public spaces.”

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary of Save the Children International, Nigeria, Amanuel Mamo, stated that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”, was critical, meaningful and timely, as “We cannot continue speaking challenges related to women’s empowerment and their progress’ without investing in them.”

He added that promoting women’s economic empowerment in a world where gender inequality is on the rise begins with acknowledging the impact of investments in women and girls as individuals.

He acknowledged that women and girl’s rights as human rights was the first step in fostering gender equality.

Saying that, “Social protection interventions can serve as a means to empower women and girls, reducing inequalities and ensuring access to opportunities that will transform their present and future. Investing in women and girls through social assistance programs will provide access to food, healthcare, clothing and shelter; social insurance programs will enable women to have access to healthcare during and after pregnancy. For girls, improving access to social protection interventions that enable enrolment and retention in schools also reduce the risks of abuse, child labor and early Marriage.

“Well-designed and implemented social protection program should address the specific needs of women and girls looking at the diversity of women’s experiences, which are often compounded by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. For instance, at a young age, girls face barriers to quality education, including through their involvement in domestic work. As adolescents, girls are at risk of early pregnancy and school dropouts. In old age, women are prone to work in hazardous, informal jobs, bearing a greater burden of unpaid care. Additionally, women face interruptions and inequalities in paid work. These lifecycle accumulates, increasing vulnerability in old.

“To that effect, social protection programmes should be designed and introduced to provide regular sufficient transfers and services to women-headed households or households with young and adolescent girls to tackle the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Social protection interventions should grant access to adequate protections for girls and women of reproductive age, including pregnant women and lactating mothers as well as young girls.

“Generally, in many countries where national investment on women and girls is insignificant or unavailable, there are huge gender equality gaps, socio-economic insecurity challenges that the women and girls are facing today, including early, child and forced marriages, violence, abuse, and trafficking, among others.”