Women Groups advocate economic empowerment for rural women

The President of Partnership for Rural Women Development in Nigeria, Hajiya Zainab Mohammed, on Saturday appealed to the Federal Government to empower the rural women economically to reduce poverty.

Hajiya Mohammed  in an interview in  Abuja that some of the government policies regarding Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) should be made accessible to the rural women.

According to her, the Federal Government should recognise the crucial role being played by the rural women in sustaining the economy in terms of providing food.

“It is the rural women that go to the farm and add value to what the government is doing,’’ she said.

Mohammed said that the rural women contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly or indirectly.

She said the rural women are faced with discrimination, sexual exploitation, violence and lacks information.

Mohammed stressed the need for proper sensitisation on their fundamental rights and liberty in attaining their potentials.

She commended the rural women in the country for their contribution to the development, in spite of the economic recession, saying the rural women had contributed immensely to the Agricultural production.

The National Coordinator, Advocacy for Women with Disabilities, Mrs Patience Dickson said women with disabilities in the rural areas should not be excluded from decision making and basic needs of life.

“Women with disabilities are not given equal opportunities as their counterpart in the urban areas.

“The rural women are faced with more challenges compared with those in the urban areas,” she said.

Dickson said women in the rural areas should be given equal access to productive resources as they are have low income, sparse access to education and health services and limited job opportunities.

The Abuja coordinator of African Women Lawyers Association Nigeria (AWLAN), Mrs Olanike Bakrin said the government at all levels should ensure that rural women are given adequate attention to reduce the rural-urban migration by women.

She said the women constitute the largest population in the country, saying if given adequate opportunities they would perform better.

Bakrin said most rural communities were still faced with poor road, electricity, lack of pipe borne water and infrastructures, adding that government at all levels should address lack of basic amenities in rural areas.

The  International Rural Women Day, observed every Oct. 15, was to honour the role played by the rural women.

It also recognises rural women’s importance in enhancing agricultural and rural development.