A university don, Professor Ifufro Osamwonyi, yesterday, said the seventeen action points of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved in Nigeria without reducing gender inequality.
Prof. Osamwonyi of the Department of Banking and Finance, University of Benin, disclosed this in a keynote address on the occasion of this year’s International Women Day celebration organized by Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Business Women Group, Edo State chapter.
Speaking on the theme : ‘Each for Equal’, Osamwonyi noted that gender bias has been seriously militating against the development of the country.
While noting that Nigerian politics is one of the areas in great need of gender-focused inclusion, the university don revealed that Nigeria has one of the lowest rates of female representation in parliament across Africa.
He said, “Nigeria is ranked 181st out of 193 countries.”
Osamwonyi, however, eulogised Nigerian women for their hardwork and entrepreneurship, stressing that they have contributed significantly to national advancement and are doing well in formal business with technological advancement and innovation.
On her part, Co-ordinator of NACCIMA Business Women Group, Edo State chapter, Pharmacist (Mrs) Aina Omo-Ojeonu, disclosed that the group was set up to facilitate women’s participation in commerce and governance as well as facilitate access to loans and business information for women.
“We are encouraging women especially from the grassroots to be up and doing. And that is why I mentioned better life for rural women because we intend to take our access to loan to the grassroots. We want to take it to our women farmers in the grassroots, to the MSME because we believe that it is women that mostly do all these things.
“When you look at the subsistence farmers, they are majorly women. If you look at the people selling pepper in the market, they are women.In commerce, women are doing well. In agric, women are there.”
She added that plans are on to facilitate trade amongst women in the chamber and within the ECOWAS region and the world at large.