NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: A lecturer with the Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse, Jamal Ali Ahmed, has said the pervasive social norms and discrimination against women has continued to keep them from thriving in the workforce.

He made the assertion on Wednesday at a virtual meeting organized by a Non-Governmental Organization, Connecting Gender for Development, (COGEN) for the inauguration of the Network of Women’s Group’s for Economic Justice, (NWGE) for it’s project; Urgent Action Fund – Africa.

In his presentation titled: “Economic Justice and Empowerment for Women in North-West Nigeria” the don averred that gender equality and empowered women are catalysts for multiplying development efforts.

The don who said women often face discrimination and persistent gender inequalities, posited that increasing the role of women in the economy is part of the solution to the financial and economic crises and critical for economic resilience and growth.

According to him, women’s economic participation and empowerment are fundamental to strengthening their rights and enabling them have control over their lives and exert influence in society.

“Economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development, pro-poor growth and the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“Women’s economic advancement has led to increased investments in children’s education and health, and reduced household poverty.

“Women’s economic empowerment takes sound public policies, a holistic approach and long-term commitment from all development actors,” he added.

Earlier, COGEN’s Executive Director, Ms Ngukwase Surma, had informed participants that the project, Urgent Action Fund – Africa would be executed in four states of the north-west region: Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara states.

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She said the project will empower women regardless of status in all the project areas to access economic justice through sustainable livelihoods; and also create networks to enable beneficiaries access government economic opportunities.

The ED explained that the project will work with women and girls, including women with disability and internally displaced women between ages 12 to 60 y.o drawn mostly from rural and peri-urban settings.

“This project will enhanced capacity of women and girls to increase incomes and improved livelihoods and better positioned them to access government economic support.

“Increased awareness of government MDAs that employ graduates of STEM subjects to mainstream gender in employment. NWGE members will monitor for long term impact post project.

“Increased grantee capacity and ability to reach new communities and attract funding in the area of economic justice for women,” she added.

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