Efforts to bridge gender gap in Edo State has received a boost as 54,000 women from the three senatorial districts are set to benefit from the pilot phase of the Nigeria for Women Project, Governor Godwin Obaseki has said.
Obaseki who inaugurated the State Steering Committee and State Technical Committee of the Nigeria for Women Projects at Government House in Benin City, said the project is supported by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government and designed to empower women across Edo, Ogun, Niger, Taraba, Abia and Kebbi states.
Expatiating on the benefits which the programme holds for women, the governor maintained that his administration was committed to bridging the economic and social gaps that exist between men and women in the state.
“We are addressing all forms of gender gaps which have encouraged extreme poverty in the state.
“So much is being done to ensure that women and girls are empowered with relevant skills to enable them to become self-reliant and contribute more to the economy,” he said.
According to Obaseki, “when women are empowered, it has a multiplier effect on the nation’s economy and poverty reduction.”
He stressed the importance of a robust data base for the committees’ work and charged members to come up with modalities on how the projects will be executed.
“We need to come up with specific action plans and monitoring mechanism so we can measure outcomes,” he urged, and tasked the various Ward Development Committees to be part of the screening of the project beneficiaries, to allow for fair representation, he said.
In her votes of thanks, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, said the ministry was passionate about the project and would ensure it succeeds.
Ohenhen commended the governor’s efforts at mainstreaming women in governance and particularly for ensuring that Edo State is part of the project.
She assured that the committees would act on the terms of reference given by the governor.