The federal government on Tuesday inaugurated a Technical Working Group to track, monitor and ensure accountability in the implementation of policies and budget allocation targeting women’s economic empowerment (WEE).
The Ministry of Budget and National Planning, in collaboration with the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, and the Development Research (dRPC) and Projects Centre inaugurated the group which comprises Monitoring and Evaluation Officers from 10 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Plangsat Dayil, consultant, dRCP project and director, centre for gender women studies, speaking at the event decried that government has lots of policies that ought to improve the lots of women economically, but the impact is not being felt.
She added that these policies do not have specific targets for women which gives room for exclusion. According to her, there are still lots of gaps in the empowerment of women across the country.
“If you read through government policies, you will not see specific issues targeted at women or people with disability. Most of these policies are just blankets and that gives room for a lot of exclusion.
“In the past, there are no group monitoring these things, you can have pockets of civil societies that are not coordinated, but, we are bringing in a collective of all women organisations who are into business, entrepreneurship at the national and state level to ensure that government is actually doing what they said they are doing”, she said.
Dayil said the TWG is working with the ministry of budget and planning to track the percentage of women that have benefitted in all economic policies and projects from CBN and many other organisations.
She also informed that the TWG will monitor how many women are benefitting in terms of number and if the projects meet the desired impact.
The Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Brigadier CJ Udaya, represented by Nasirdeen Usman, disclosed that the TWG is to support the accountability process of the piloting of the application of the Monitoring & Evaluation framework on WEE programs in Nigeria.
According to him, NIPSS is partnering with the Budget Office and the Development Research and Projects Centre to support the accountability component of the development and implementation of the pilot M&E framework to track and rate women’s economic empowerment project/policies/interventions at the national and sub-national level.
He also described WEE as a strong policy of the federal government that must be translated into action by the TWG.
Nasirdeeen added that the TWG would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.
While urging the 20 committee members drawn from the Federal Ministry of Budget, Agriculture, CBN, and other MDAs, to work hard to promote transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country, Nasirdeen said the nation stands to solve its economic challenges when women’s economic empowerment are given the required attention.
‘With 44.82 percent of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not the only key to achieving economic independence, but it is also critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ he said
In his remarks at the occasion, the director monitoring and evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Zakari Lawal, while stressing the need to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of women’s economy in the country, he said the federal government is determined to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.
The event was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, under the Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED.