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Ministry to Prioritize Rural Women Issues – Dame Pauline Tallen.

In commemoration of this year’s 2022 International Day For Rural Women and World Food Day, a Ministerial press briefing was held on the 13th October, 2022 at the Conference Hall of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs by the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs (HMWA), Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG in recognition of the efforts of the rural women in the agricultural development of Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister who attended the briefing with her management team, said that gender relations play an important role in food security and nutrition management of the country; saying that by addressing gender inequality there would be larger improvements in food security in the household and community.

Tallen noted that the two themes of this year’s event are: “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food For All” for 2022 International Day For Rural Women and “Safe food for Today for a Healthy Tomorrow” which is for 2022 World Food Day; vividly captured the importance of rural women in food security in Nigeria stressing that it was a wakeup call for us to pay attention to the plight of the rural women, and also, for us to try and protect and support them.

“I celebrate Nigeria women’s resilience and indeed everyday should be for the celebration and recognition of our rural women who toil daily to ensure national growth and development and for us to have food on our table.”

The Minister mentioned that the impact of COVID-19 on food and nutrition. She emphasised that “In the first 15 months after the pandemic, there were income losses, trade disruptions and increasing food prices which were further worsened by insecurity due to farmer-herders’ clash, armed banditry, insurgency and child molestation, kidnapping and spike in gender-based violence (GBV) and violent communal conflicts.

She pledged to continue to mainstream voices of rural women in its plans, programmes and activities. She disclosed that this year’s event will be hosted in a rural community of Kwali, an outskirt of Abuja, to accentuate the importance the Ministry attached to the day and industrious nature of rural Women (and this was held on Friday, 15th of October, 2022).

According to the Minister, the Ministry has achieved a lot in pushing development-oriented agenda for rural women. “Parts of this is the upscaling of World Bank supported, “Nigeria for Women Project” which promotes diversified growth, enhancing livelihood and access to finance by rural women covering Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Niger, Ogun and Taraba States. She also mentioned UN Women relief assistance and palliatives including food hygiene materials distributed to 6 Geo-political States of Nigeria. Others were capacity building and empowerment programmes to widows and indigent women, completion of 1st and 2nd phases of Presidential National Cooking Gas Project and Economic Tree planting.

Tallen further disclosed that to make this year’s commemoration which will take place at National Centre for Cooperative Department at Kwali, Abuja on Saturday 15th October, 2022 worthwhile; various events have been earmarked for the occasion which include: Media talk show in print and electronic media, Capacity building of rural Women from 13-15 October, 2022. Symposium, exhibitions and award to selected organisations as well as provision of livelihood support training and start-up grants to Women.

The Minister appreciated various stakeholders and partners for keying into the initiatives and called for more of these collaborations.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi who was represented by Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, the Director General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) reminded the participants that 2022 International Day For Rural Women and 2022 World Food Day have become a rallying point for women including indigenous women in enhancing agricultural rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

Shinkafi, while reiterating the commitment of the Ministry to promote rural women advancement, said that it is a day set aside to improve the capacity of rural women to respond to climate change, agricultural productions, value chain and agricultural resource management that strengthen food security.

The gathering which also saw the President of National Council For Women Society (NCWS) Hajiya Lami Adamu Lau delivered her short speech was rounded off with goodwill messages from various stakeholders and partners including UN Women, Oxfam, DROMI, JAIZ Bank, NDE and SEED.

The culmination of this year’s commemoration of 2022 International Day For Rural Women and 2022 World Food Day is the Symposium was done on Saturday, 15th October, 2022 at Kwali, Abuja.

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