BY AMINU DALHATU
Kaduna State government has assured
of its commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in all aspects of its development agenda.
Deputy Governor of the State, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe stated at the Private Sector Forum on Gender Responsive Supply Chains in Kaduna State, organized by the UN Women in collaboration with African Development Bank AfDB and Zamani Foundation held in Kaduna.
Dr Balarabe explained that, the administration of Senator Uba Sani believed that, empowering women is not only a matter of right, but also a good economic strategy that can boost growth, reduce poverty, and enhance social cohesion.
According to Dr. Hadiza Balarabe for Nigeria to develop as a country, it must liberate half of its population consisting of women from being undermined, underutilized and de-humanized.
She emphasized that, women encounter social norms and stereotypes that undermine their economic potentials and leadership, such as gender-based violence, discrimination, harassment, and bias.
The Deputy Governor maintained that, issues that concern women are always dear to her heart stating that, “as a woman and mother, I am daily confronted with these challenges. Women have less access to working capital, finance, technology, skills, and information than men, which limits their ability to start, grow, and sustain their businesses.
“Also, women face increased care demands at home which reduces their time and attention for their businesses. Women encounter social norms and stereotypes that undermine their economic potentials and leadership, such as gender-based violence, discrimination, harassment, and bias.
“If we want to make progress as a country, we must liberate half of our population, which consists of women, from being undermined, underutilized and de-humanized,” she said.
Dr Hadiza Balarabe reaffirmed continued support of the State Government in promoting
women empowerment through policies, programmes, legislations, and other
activities that would ensure that women’s improved significantly.
The Deputy Governor assured UN Women and all bodies involved in championing the projects of Kaduna State Government’s readiness to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure effective implementation and impact of this programme.
She further called on women business owners in the state to register with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority as the agency implementing the project in the state.
Earlier, the Director General, Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority KADPPA Alhaji Sanusi Aminu Yero said the agency has drafted a policy framework for the state and is carrying out sensitization to relevant stakeholders across Kaduna state for the smooth implementation of the Affirmative Procurement Reform.
Alhaji Sanusi Yero, said women are left behind in public procurement and they are not economically viable.
According to him, the state government is working towards sensitizing women, giving them preference and giving them some kind of financial assistance to take up businesses.
In her presentation, the UN-Women’s Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Beatrice Eyong said, only one percent of procurement process in Nigeria go to women in business, hence the need to organize the training.
Eyong who was represented by UN-Women Programme Specialist, Dr. Chukwuemeka Onyimadu said, UN-Women was not out to force the government to bend the procurement laws in favour of women, but wants to train women who own businesses to be able to compete favorably in public procurement processes.
In remark, the Founder and President Zamani Foundation, Mrs Talatu P. Zamani-Henry noted that the meeting was organized to establish a private sector forum on engendering supply chains in Kaduna state and environs.
“we must acknowledge that the journey in the private sector in Nigeria is not a easy one, despite the odds, we are forging ahead, leaving our mark, and paving the way for others to follow.
“Today, we recommit ourselves to supporting our continued growth and success. As we gather, let us reflect on how we can enhance access to procurement and work together to find solutions that will help us to strategise and unleash our full potentials in our various work places”
“We look forward to creating conducive environments to boost flows of commerce, access to procurement and investments amongst women economies, and to enhancing standards and access to opportunities for our workers, companies, offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community and most especially creating actionable plans to promote gender equity/equality and women’s empowerment that are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the world.”