• Monday, July 22, 2024
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NESG pushes for gender equality to address rising poverty in Nigeria

NESG calls for new approach to tackle economic crisis

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has raised concern over the increasing rate of poverty in Nigeria, calling for the promotion of gender equality as tool to address the poverty menace in the country.

Tayo Aduloju, the Chief Executive Officer, NESG made this call at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, stating that Nigeria experiences significant gender disparities in labor force participation, with 65.5 percent of men versus 52.1 percent of women participating in the workforce.

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According to him, two-thirds of Nigerians suffer from multidimensional poverty, lacking basic services such as healthcare, education, and clean cooking fuels.

He said, “The 2023 Global Hunger Index ranks Nigeria 109th out of 125 countries, indicating severe hunger levels, particularly affecting women, girls, and persons with disabilities.

“Projections for 2024 suggest that 26.5 million Nigerians will face food insecurity, with 4.8 million at risk in the conflict-affected northeast. Around 9 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition, exacerbating poverty levels,” Aduloju said.

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The CEO who hinted on the upcoming edition of the Gender and Inclusion Summit themed: ‘Reimagining Gender-Inclusive Pathways and Partnerships for Poverty Reduction’, said it is focused on addressing the intertwined issues of gender inequality and poverty.

In her remarks, Osasuyi Dirisu, the executive director at the Policy Innovation Center at NESG, stressed on the need for conceptual and local solutions to address poverty across the country.

“We need to identify what works for poverty reduction in Nigeria and sustain the commitment to poverty reduction by intentionally designing and implementing contextually relevant solutions driven by a policy enabling environment. We can learn and adapt from similar context but by all means we must respond to fierce urgency to act and secure the future of the nation,” she said.

She reiterated that the 2024 Gender and Inclusion Summit is expected to be a significant event, bringing together stakeholders to discuss and implement strategies for a more inclusive and equitable future.

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The Chair, Local Organizing Committee, LOC, Adedotun Esan said Nigerian women own 41% of micro-businesses, with 23 million female entrepreneurs, placing Nigeria among the highest entrepreneurship rates globally, surpassing the 21% global average.

Despite this, she said that societal and cultural barriers, including gender violence, limited education, and prevalent slavery, hinder women’s progress.