Through the First Bank of Nigeria, the government of the United Kingdom has reportedly begun a $100 million initiative to provide direct funding to businesses that are owned and operated by women in Nigeria, which has the largest economy in Africa.
This was stated by Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, during the summit on gender equality and inclusion that was held in Abuja on Wednesday and was organized by the Policy Innovation Center (PIC).
Connecting the Dots for a Gender-Inclusive Society was the theme that guided the discussions at the summit.
According to Laing, the investment was made as a component of the implementation of the United Kingdom’s three ‘Es’ projects, which are aimed at educating girls, empowering women, and putting an end to violence against women and girls.
e UK is divided into three distinct areas based on gender. “The three ‘Es’ include ending violence against women and girls, educating girls, and empowering women,” she said.
“For the past few decades, the United Kingdom has been actively working to improve education, particularly in the north-eastern region of Nigeria. There, we have assisted an additional 1.4 million girls in attending school.
“On the empowerment side of things, we recently launched a $100 million program through the First bank of Nigeria that will [provide] direct funding specifically to women-owned enterprises,” we said. “On that note, we hope to empower more women.”
Laing went on to say that rights pertaining to gender are fundamental human rights, and that everyone is entitled to them.
On the other hand, he mentioned that there are certain social, religious, and behavioral norms that are used as justifications for why gender equality isn’t progressing faster.
According to Laing, the government of the United Kingdom is also digitizing humanitarian services and cash transfers so that women can receive money directly into their bank account, which provides them with increased levels of autonomy.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, for her part, issued a call to action to the Nigerian government and other international partners, urging them to prioritize streamlining policies with the goal of closing gender parity gaps.
According to Leonard, the government of the United States places a high priority on gender activities; as a result, it allocates over two hundred billion dollars annually to the programming of gender activity and equality on a global scale.
“In Nigeria, the US mission works to promote an environment that supports the success of women and address challenges that hold women back and to empower Nigerian women to do the same,” she said. “The US mission also works to address challenges that hold women back and to empower Nigerian women to do the same.”
The elections that will take place in 2023 present an important opportunity to increase the number of women holding leadership positions in the government.
“And we encourage women to not only vote on election day but also to consider running for office at all levels of government in the future elections.” “And we encourage women to not only vote on election day but also to consider running for office.”
During this election season, we have the opportunity to make it clear to candidates that we expect them to place a high priority on enacting policies and laws that benefit women and girls.
Osasuyi Dirisu, the deputy director of the PIC, offered her perspective on the matter by stating that the organization is active in a variety of policy areas, including financial and digital inclusion, health, human capital, gender and social policy, accountability, and transparency.
She said, “We are here at the summit and hope to institutionalise and have an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to have a real conversation about gender and advanced cause to improving gender equality in Nigeria.” “We are here at the summit and hope to institutionalise and have an opportunity for stakeholders to come together to have real conversation about gender and advanced cause to
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