Oxfam Seeks Favourable Policy To Boost Women’s Capacity

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Oxfam in Nigeria has called on the government to demonstrate the political will to create a macro-economic policy environment that increases women’s productive capacity as full economic agents.

IT also canvassed increased investments in the agricultural sector.

Its ‎Associate Country Director, Evelyn Mere made the call in Abuja at the 2017 International Women Day, with the theme‎; ‘Women in the Changing ‎World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030’

She said there was need for government to create an enabling context with adequate infrastructure that enables women in the informal sector survive and thrive. She also backed government’s reform of the tax system to foster equity and apply tax resources to increase public spending in key sectors such as Agriculture, Health and Education.

Oxfam also called on the National Assembly to incorporate all ratified international treaties on women into domestic laws in order to make the National Gender Policy actionable, stressing that the executive must further work with the legislature to ensure passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities bills into law.

Mere lamented that Nigeria has been classified as one of the most unequal countries in the world, stressing that the lives of Nigerian women are affected by a myriad of discriminatory traditional and socio-cultural practices which put them at a disadvantage in a number of areas compared to men.

“As a result of these disadvantages, women are more likely to be poor than men. In 2016, Nigeria ranked 118 out of 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index, having gained seven places from the previous year. Though a marginal gain, a lot still needs to be done to put Nigeria in a better ranking order,” Mere noted.

She added: “Research has revealed that although women represent between 60 and 79% of Nigeria’s rural labour force, men are five times more likely than women to own land. Some 55% of female headed households are landless and a further 29% own less than one hectare.”

“Agriculture holds huge potential as the largest economic platform central to the economic empowerment of millions of women, yet public sector investments in agriculture have remained low at less than 4%, inspite of the commitment of the Nigerian government to invest a minimum of 10% of the budget in the agric sector in line with the Maputo Declaration. The sector is as a result under developed and at mostly subsistence level,” she stressed

Mere decried that limited access to extension service delivery, inputs, financial resources and assets as well as women’s lack of inheritance rights to land converge to inhibit the productivity of small scale women farmers, have perpetually trapped them in a cycle of poverty.

However, Oxfam through its Village Savings and Loans Scheme innovation, which started in 2015 has empowered over 8000 rural women in Nassarawa, Benue, Plateau, kebbi and Adamawa States.
Oxfam in Nigeria has called on the government to demonstrate the political will to create a macro-economic policy environment that increases women’s productive capacity as full economic agents.

IT also canvassed increased investments in the agricultural sector.

Its ‎Associate Country Director, Evelyn Mere made the call in Abuja at the 2017 International Women Day, with the theme‎; ‘Women in the Changing ‎World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030’

She said there was need for government to create an enabling context with adequate infrastructure that enables women in the informal sector survive and thrive. She also backed government’s reform of the tax system to foster equity and apply tax resources to increase public spending in key sectors such as Agriculture, Health and Education.

Oxfam also called on the National Assembly to incorporate all ratified international treaties on women into domestic laws in order to make the National Gender Policy actionable, stressing that the executive must further work with the legislature to ensure passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities bills into law.

Mere lamented that Nigeria has been classified as one of the most unequal countries in the world, stressing that the lives of Nigerian women are affected by a myriad of discriminatory traditional and socio-cultural practices which put them at a disadvantage in a number of areas compared to men.

“As a result of these disadvantages, women are more likely to be poor than men. In 2016, Nigeria ranked 118 out of 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index, having gained seven places from the previous year. Though a marginal gain, a lot still needs to be done to put Nigeria in a better ranking order,” Mere noted.

She added: “Research has revealed that although women represent between 60 and 79% of Nigeria’s rural labour force, men are five times more likely than women to own land. Some 55% of female headed households are landless and a further 29% own less than one hectare.”

“Agriculture holds huge potential as the largest economic platform central to the economic empowerment of millions of women, yet public sector investments in agriculture have remained low at less than 4%, inspite of the commitment of the Nigerian government to invest a minimum of 10% of the budget in the agric sector in line with the Maputo Declaration. The sector is as a result under developed and at mostly subsistence level,” she stressed

Mere decried that limited access to extension service delivery, inputs, financial resources and assets as well as women’s lack of inheritance rights to land converge to inhibit the productivity of small scale women farmers, have perpetually trapped them in a cycle of poverty.

However, Oxfam through its Village Savings and Loans Scheme innovation, which started in 2015 has empowered over 8000 rural women in Nassarawa, Benue, Plateau, kebbi and Adamawa States.