By Okeoghene Akubuike
Abuja – Actionaid Nigeria has called for the inclusion of rural women in government programmes to promote economic development.
Mrs Nkechi Ilochi-Omekedo, the Women’s Right Manager, Actionaid Nigeria, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a rally tagged; “Women Rising’’.
Ilochi-Omekedo said that the debate around restructuring of Nigeria had been going on and the voices of women had not been heard concerning the issue.
She said there was the need to look at the plight of women from the grassroots in order to pick up their voices in this regards.
Ilochi-Omekedo explained that the organisation had also collaborated with women at the grassroots to help raise their consciousness to understand issues surrounding the restructuring of the country.
She said Actionaid Nigeria had facilitated a lot of processes in form of pilot project to showcase specific services.
“We have worked with several women to ensure the provision of health centre facilities, water, schools and income generating machines,’’ Ilochi-Omekedo
She said that a lot of civil society organisations for many years had been canvassing for women inclusion in policy making, saying this would greatly yield significant gains for the country.
Ilochi-Omekedo, therefore, called on the Federal Government to look into the plight of women, especially those in the rural communities with a view to attending to many of their needs and demands.
Also speaking, Mr Tunde Aremu, the Policy, Advocacy and Campaign Manager of the NGO, said the organisation has had engagements with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) on issues affecting women directly.
“Women should be empowered, while building their capacities so they can do advocacy on their issues.’’
Mrs Hajara Abubakar from Dakwa Community in Bwari, FCT called on the government to provide basic amenities such as water, good road network, schools, electricity and healthcare system in the various communities.
Abubakar decried a situation where children lose their lives in a bid to find quality education in other communities, describing it as worrisome.
According to her, there is the need for the government to address the problem.
In her remarks, Mrs Hamamatu Adamu, the women leader from Tunganasara in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), FCT said the views of women had been neglected on the issue of restructuring.
Adamu urged the government to include women in discussions in order to proffer solutions to some of the challenges facing the nation presently.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the rally, some of the women were carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: “The time is now to restructure women into the structure”, “Educating girl- child is the basis for developed economy.’’
Other inscriptions read; “End the neglect: Rural women deserve access to social amenities’’, “Gender equality is not a woman issue, it is a human issue’’. (NAN)