By Francis Akinnodi
Female captains of industry have emphasised the need to end structures and systems that impede the impartial and fair representation of women across the public and private sector of the economy.
They said this at the Bank of Industry (BoI) International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 Conference with theme: “Embrace Equity” in Lagos.
The Hope reports that IWD celebrated annually on March 8 is a day set aside to celebrate the achievements of women and address issues that hinder women development across the globe.
Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Katagum noted that the 2023 IWD theme ’embrace equity’ presented a true representation that levelled the playing field for both sexes.
She noted that to build an equitable system, one must first understand and take into cognisance the challenges that women faced and provide tailored support for both personal and professional development.
“Equity is a means to achieving gender equality and we must remain committed to addressing systems and structures that stifle women growth.
“We must continue to speak out against gender inequality and violence, provide equitable access to finance, enhance entrepreneurial support.
“We must remove barriers to women’s participation in trade and commerce and push to close wage gaps between sexes,” she said.
Katagum assured that the Federal Government as part of its commitment to advancing the cause of women had taken steps to advance the welfare of women and promote equity.
She noted that a high level council on women’s economic empowerment in Nigeria was recently inaugurated to serve as an empowerment platform for public and private sector discourse and collaboration for women.
“At the same time, President Muhammadu Buhari launched the women economic empowerment policy dialogue and two Federal Government flagship programs which are the Adolescent Girls Initiative Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) and the Nigerian Women Project supported by the world bank.
“I, therefore, encourage everyone to become involved in these initiatives and look for ways be a part of it as women have a right to employ, fair working conditions.
“We must continue to foster the right conditions and capacities for women everywhere to achieve their full economic potentials.
“At the policy levels, we must ensure that trade policy and public procurement works for women given the important role women play in the economy,” he said.
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