Only 4% of total bilateral aid is allocated to gender equality, empowerment – Fame Foundation

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By Onu Okorie

Executive Director, FAME Foundation for Girls and Women Empowerment Ms Aderonke Ogunleye’s has disclosed that only four per cent of total bilateral aid is allocated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

She stated this at a press conference yesterday in Abuja while emphasising the issue of inadequate funding for gender equality initiatives during the international Women’s Day IWD.

The IWD billed to be commemorated on March 8 is a day set aside to honour the achievements of women and as well promote women’s rights. Ms Ogunleye explained that the theme for this year’s IWD, “Count HER In: Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” is a powerful call to address economic disempowerment and promote the advancement of women.

She further stated that violence against women and girls amounts to 245 million women and girls experience physical and/or sexual violence each year. Other challenges faced by women include: inadequate access to education and health care as an estimated 110 million girls and young women may remain out of school by 2030. Also she said that women are facing social norms and cultural practices- these are harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation persist.

According to her, “this year, FAME Foundation is organizing its annual international football tournament for women. This is the fifth edition of the match and I can say it’s one of our biggest events of the year as it brings together different women from the highest sector of the society to the lowest; women from diplomatic Communities down to the market women.

Fame women’s day teams are made upm of the following: Team FIDA – International Federation of Women Lawyers, Team EAC- East Africa Communities, Team FAME, Team USA – United States of America, Team AWITA- Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture, Team ANFS- Association of Nigeria Female Students, Team CANADA, Team ASHWAN-Association of Women Living with Hiv/Aids in Nigeria, Team BET9JA, Team BHC-British High Commission.

“There are still many challenges to be addressed, but they are not insurmountable. It is more important than ever that we stand firm to champion the rights of every woman and girl by investing more to accelerate progress. Let’s continue to keep pushing – and working for- the gender agenda.

Let’s create a world where women hold more leadership positions based on performance, and live without discrimination, harassment, and violence.”

During the football match, various organizations will host side events.

Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria PPFN will offer free screenings for cervical cancer, pap smear tests, hepatitis screening, breast examinations, HIV tests, counselling, and eye tests, among other services. EVA Nigeria will distribute free male and female condoms to prevent STIs and promote family planning. According to her, “We will also host educational sessions which will focus on accelerating progress for women in line with the SDGs’ Vision 2030. Alongside, there will be cheerleaders, mascots, and other attractions. We extend an invitation to everyone, including the media in Abuja and its surroundings, to join and participate in this event.”