As Nigerian women join other countries globally to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), stakeholders have resolved to adopt what they described as Rural Resilience Activity (RRA), to address issues of gender equality, food scarcity and acute hunger in the insurgency ravaged north east.
They said this on Monday in Abuja during a ‘#BreakTheBias’ roundtable on “Media for Women Economic Empowerment’, organised by the Mercy Corps.
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Participants said that despite interventions by different organisations, women in the region were still under both economic and social limitations.
The Chief of Party, RRA, Margarita Aswani, said that the humanitarian intervention, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was designed to help in breaking the gender biases, that hamper women’s development in any area of endeavours.
She said that the program implemented by Mercy Corps in partnership with the International Fertilizer Development Center and Save the Children, works primarily in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states.
She said that the project had restored means of livelihoods to several vulnerable women in those states.
“More than 60 Farmers Field Schools for women were established across the north east, with community support and very little funding from us, and today more than 1,800 women farmers have accessed knowledge, and have spread the information in their communities,” Aswani said.
On her part, a broadcast Journalist, Atinuke Tokura-Nukay, said there was need for the media to give special attention to highlighting the challenges of vulnerable groups in the north east region of the country.
She said that women who constitute a large population of farmers in these troubled communities need opportunities for all-round empowerment.
Tokura-Nukay urged all stakeholders to create more synergy to fight all restrictive norms that inhibit women development.
She said, “Changes within food systems open windows of opportunity for agripreneurship, that is, entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector, both on the farm and beyond the farm gate.
Other stakeholders said that, not definitive punishment for those abusing women in the region and elsewhere, was one of the reasons inhibiting women and social development.”