Women empowerment in Nigeria: Why is it so important?
Women empowerment in Nigeria is a movement that won’t slow down anytime soon. For some years now, there has been a drive to set Nigerian women free from dependency.
What is women empowerment?
Women empowerment is the measure taken to help women develop economically, politically, and socially. To break it down, this movement seeks to make women strong and independent in every aspect of life.
To achieve this aim of emancipating women from dependency, women empowerment in Nigeria focuses on developing the education, political participation, financial status and the health of Nigerian women. Once these aspects of their lives have improved, women can have a voice to speak up for themselves.
Why is women empowerment in Nigeria necessary?
Unfortunately, women are considered lesser than men in many parts of the world. The constitution of Nigeria upholds the equality of the sexes, but that doesn’t mean that Nigerian women always get the respect they deserve. This paper published Godiya Allanana Mamkama in the European Scientific Journal shows how Nigerian women are regarded as being lesser than men.
Women empowerment in Nigeria is necessary because of:
1. Social inequality
The family is the first place where women experience inequality. This is because female children are raised differently from their brothers. Young girls grow up hearing they will not inherit anything from their families. Male children are marked from birth as heirs, while their sisters get little to nothing.
These young girls grow up and become wives who have little to no say in their homes. It is not uncommon to find that most women are excluded from decision-making in their own homes. It doesn’t stop there. Inequality spills out from the home front and affects every sphere of the woman’s life.
2. Political Inequality
In Nigeria, female participation in politics is rare. This means that women are left out of the decision-making, and the men end up making decisions on matters that directly affect women. In simple terms, men end up making laws for women.
Nigerian women in politics are often left out of the political scene because they rarely get the same support as their male counterparts.
3. Financial imbalances
Women empowerment in Nigeria is a welcome change. It allows women to be free from economic dependency. Women in business face a unique set of problems that their male counterparts will never experience. For one, it is much harder for women to get loans.
Lack of funds could end up killing the businesses in the short run, further widening the wage gap between men and women.
Recently, the government and some people from the private sector have put in a lot of work towards female education. There are scholarships, grants and many other motivations to keep the girl child in school.
Nonetheless, in rural areas where large families can only afford to send a certain number of children to school, male children stand a higher chance of attending school while their sisters remain at home.
5. Basic human rights
Nigerian women have the same basic human rights as men. However, a lot of women don’t get the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms stipulated in the constitution.
Efforts to promote women empowerment in Nigeria
As mentioned above, women development is a concerted effort. This means that the government and private sector are working hand-in-hand to better the lives of Nigerian women.
These are some of the programs set up specifically to develop women and bridge the inequality gap:
• She Leads
She Leads recognizes the challenges of creating a business idea and working towards making it a reality. For this reason, this initiative helps women with their business plans from conception up to the implementation.
Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) is a non-profit that seeks to implement programmes that will empower, inspire and campaign for more women to take up leadership positions both in the public and private sectors.
• Wellbeing Foundation
This foundation recognizes the family unit as the bedrock of any society, so it seeks to better the lives of women from that level. Wellbeing Foundation implements programmes stipulated in the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The foundation advocates for gender equality, good health and wellbeing, and clean water and sanitation. Wellbeing Foundation offers maternal education and the support needed to prevent infant and maternal mortality and promote healthy living.
• Unic Foundation
Unic Foundation is a skills acquisition programme for women to learn skills in the areas of fashion, catering, arts and entertainment, agribusiness, security, and emergency services. Young women from all over the country get the training needed to better their lives and impact their community as a whole.
There are other initiatives founded to advance women empowerment in Nigeria. These initiatives are working hard to put an end to gender inequality and discrimination against Nigerian women.
These foundations walk the talk by providing resources to improve the living conditions and economic status of women.