15th October a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the ‘International Day of Rural Women’, as Nigeria joins the world to commemorate, the federal government has been urged to create an accessible digital economy that can boost the entrepreneural capacity of rural women in the country.
The rural woman, a national asset and important component of the society however underutilzed, calls for action to support rural women and girls grow their capacities to respond better to agricultural production, food security, and natural resources management.
Nanfe Audu, Founder / Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zinari Magazine made the call in Abuja as part of activities to mark the 10years anniversary of the magazine.
Audu said the theme of this year’s celebration: building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19 is apt, adding that pandemic exposed Nigeria’s neglect of rural women who are resilient and resourceful to the nation.
She noted that other countries like India, Somalia, Egypt, Bangladesh and so many others are utilizing digital economy for rural women development and they are doing fine, urging the federal government to also consider exploring this area for development of rural women in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria rural women are not seen as people who have anything to offer
and so are most times used and dumped but this should not be so because this is why there is violence everywhere, crises, hunger which has been worsened by the covid19 pandemic.
“There is a lot these women offer the economy, the resources they pull is unimaginable in fact, they make us live because they provide food for us but unfortunately government don’t recognize them enough,” she said.
According to her, the ministry of women affairs deserves adequate funding to ensure that issues of women at all levels are well catered for, regretting that monies meant for women development in agriculture and other enterprises are domiciled in other ministries and agencies who don’t interface directly with rural women.
She therefore appealed to the federal government to utilize the Ministry of women affairs by providing them with necessary funding to support the rural women.
“There should be special funds for rural women in agriculture and other enterprises domiciled in ministry of women affairs.
The ministry does mostly policy works and don’t bring adequate interventions for women because they are dependent on international funders but there is the need to reawaken national conciousness on the issues of rural women because what sustains the urban centers are productions from rural women.
“Rural women are very important component of the society and that is why the united nations recognize them. We all know that when a rural woman is empowered, she empowers her children, her family, Community and thereby reduce crime rate in the society.
“It is important to empower the rural woman to enable a safe society because most of the violence issues emanate from rural areas but if they are well funded for meaningful production they can feed their children and by so reduce crime in the society,” she stressed.
Rural women and girls are leaders in agriculture, food security and nutrition, land, managing natural resource management and unpaid and domestic care work. They are at the frontline when natural resources and agriculture are threatened.