Paschal Emeka, Abuja
As Nigerians grapples with widespread poverty, the Woman Leader, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), Chief (Mrs) Rachael Adewumi has solicited for a systematic empowerment of women traders by governments at levels to help reduce the effects of poverty amongst the populace.
She also appealed to the governments to do everything legitimately possible to encourage girl child education. Noting that it would go a long way in making the society a better place to live.
The woman leader addressed journalists recently in her office in the FCT, shortly after celebration of 2022 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP).
An annual and international event, IDEP was started by the United Nations (UN) in October, 1987. The theme for the one of this 2022 was: Dignity for All in Practice.
The reason for its celebration, was that it represents the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty.
It is also a chance for them to make their concern heard and a moment to recognize that they are in the forefront in the fight against poverty: (UN report of Secretary – General A/61/308, para58).
The solutions to poverty, according to the UN is to ensure: access to education for children; provision of clean water; basic healthcare and; empowerment of the girls or women.
Others are to: improve childhood nutrition; support environmental programs; be reaching children in conflict and; prevent child marriage. Added were to address: inequality or social injustice; poor basic infrastructure; climate change and; lack of government support.
Making her point, Amb. Rachael Adewuni therefore said that a clear study of those in the business of buying and selling, both in the markets, in the streets, on the roads in the shops and sheds, among other areas show that women are far in the majority.
She also observed that markets in the rural and urban areas were dominated by women too.
Dr. Rachael Adewumi went further to say that moving form one market to the other, one would see a lot of women who are either, into: wholesale or retail trading; into either petty, small or big trading; weaving of hairs; dressing of hairs; sewing of cloths, or are into: manicure, pedicure, among others while looking for means of livelihood.
Women, according to her have since joined in the operation commercial vehicles, among other occupations thought to be exclusively for the men.
She commended the government for assisting traders in form of grants and loans, to address the harsh economy and cushion the effects of the COVID – 19, Mrs. Adewumi and suggested continuous financial support and empowerment from the government to the women, in the areas of more grants or soft loans.
She noted that if support is continuously being given to the numerous women in business, the level of poverty in Nigeria, will reduce.
She pointed out that time has gone when the men were left to be fend for their families all alone, adding that women should be encouraged to contribute their quota for family upkeep