By Ugo Aliogo
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Yewande Sadiku, has advocated for increased gender lens investment in the country.
Sadiku, who stated this during the virtual edition of the third Annual Convening on Impact Investing with theme: ‘COVID-19 and Gender Lens Investing in Nigeria,’ said the mandate of the commission can only be achieved it is able to drive investments across Nigeria.
She also said there was need for deliberate investment across the 36 states and sectors that the country has competitive advantage in order to achieve what the economy projected.
Sadiku explained that attracting investments in a manner that ensures objectives of the constitution implies that wealth is not concentrated in the hands of a few people.
The NIPC boss added: “COVID-19 has brought to all a stark realisation. First and foremost, our obligation to one another. But it has also demonstrated that when things like this happen, the consequences are disproportionately on those who are most vulnerable and most disadvantaged in many countries and certainly in Nigeria. In these low income households and informal sectors, we find a lot of women.
“Gender license investment is what I believe to be the current way for the world to look at investment. I consider it a deliberate attempt to rebalance what is undoubtedly an accident of history. We are about 50-50 male and female in Nigeria, but if you look at our wealth distribution, it is disproportionately against women.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Impact Investors’ Foundation, (IIF), Afolabi Oladele, stated that 2020 stands out as a year of remarkable disruption to life, due to the impact of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 global and multi-faceted impact has driven collective thinking on what I call existential policy reset. One of the principal areas has been on Gender, Masculinity and COVID-19,” he stated.
Oladele further remarked that in April 2020 University of Minnesota gender policy report, said gender is shaping the COVID-19 crisis in significant ways.
Continuing, he said the report disclosed that beyond the visible practices at the moment, people should understand stay home, wash your hands, step back six feet gender and its interactions with class, race, and immigrant status impact a number of dimensions of this crisis.
According to him, “From epidemiology to the vulnerabilities of front-line health workers, from the distribution of care work within families to the implications of quarantine for domestic violence, we need to reflect critically on these interactions to shape a truly effective policy response to this pandemic.
“Most recent reporting and analysis about gender and COVID-19 has focused primarily on women as caregivers and front-line health workers. These are crucial issues. But what seems to be getting lost is that gender affects all of us. That’s because gender is not just biology; it is constituted by the social norms, symbols, and power structures that define our cultural expectations from how one ‘should’ act, to access to economic opportunities.”