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When Kano women converged to tackle socio-economic problems

The quest to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the socio-economic problems facing Kano women made the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development…

The quest to find a lasting and sustainable solution to the socio-economic problems facing Kano women made the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development to convene a one-day Kano State women development and strategic empowerment forum.
The forum, which is the first of its kind in Kano, is where women from all walks of life converged to come up with a blueprint that will take them to the promise land.
Papers on issues that affect women socially and economically were presented, mostly by women.
Declaring the forum open, the state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, noted that it was for a paradigm shift in the way women issues are addressed.
He said the forum should look deep into issues that affect women and propose short and long term solutions which could be integrated into the government action plan for women in the state.
Lamenting the pathetic conditions of many women in their matrimonial homes, the state governor said his government would not fold its hands and watch men oppressing the women.
He was very particular about the high rate of divorce in the state, “The way women’s rights are trampled upon is bad. You would find a man divorcing a woman he has stayed with for over 30 years, and who has borne him many children, and he would be asking her to vacate his house.
“Imagine this, where would she go to at that age with the children? I’m assuring you that government will no longer fold its hand to watch such acts of injustice happening in our society,” he said.
On pursuing their businesses, the governor advised women to venture into vocational skills such as plumbing, electric repairs among others, saying it was high time that women stopped restricting themselves to soap making or sewing.
He explained that because of the nature of the society where the inhabitants are predominantly Muslims, women are needed in almost every profession including the vocational skills, “If we have women plumbers and electricians, we will not hesitate to admit them into our inner rooms to repair our toilets or fix the electricity,” Ganduje said.
He further stressed the need for the Muslim society to rethink the issue of early marriage, saying the girl-child should be given the opportunity to acquire education, “It is only through sound education that the woman will lead a good life and train her children correctly but denying her such right is synonymous to denying her a good and fruitful life,” he said.
Ganduje added that it was in his quest to give women in the state a new lease of life and to rescue them from their present predicament that he appointed many women into apex positions in some government agencies.
It would be recalled that up to eight women were appointed chief executives of government agencies with additional two as members of the executive council.
Speaking on the need for women to make optimal use of technology in their businesses, the Executive Director of Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) Hajida Salamatu Garba said the world is moving fast technologically and unless women adjust to the challenge, they would be left behind.
She urged the Kano State government to assist Kano women farmers by purchasing modern machines that would aid in their agricultural activities.
On his part, the Chairman Project Management Team, Buy Naija, Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, William Iheanacho Otabil, in a paper he presented entitled ‘Women development: implementing a sustainable empowerment template through a co-operative based MSME cluster system’ stressed the need for women to form cooperative societies.
He said women could achieve many things when they work in groups.
He disclosed that through cooperatives, women could easily access business opportunities either from the government or from nongovernmental organizations.
He applauded women for knowing the best ways to make use of small loans and for having a track record of loan repayment. He also urged them to patronize Made-in-Nigeria goods.
Proffering solutions to the challenges of girl-child education, Professor Talatu Musa Garba of Department of Education, Bayero University Kano said while parents have a vital role to play in the education of their children, government has a greater role of providing an enabling environment.
She recommended that parents should play their role by ensuring they send their children and wards to school and provide them with the necessary things that would motivate them to learn.
She stressed the need for government to, “Enact a policy of retaining the girl-child in school until she completes her secondary education while also intensifying effort to decongest schools by building more and providing enough toilet facilities, especially in boarding schools.
According to her, provision of medical facilities should be enhanced and laboratories for science practical and computers should also be provided.
She also stressed the need for maintaining the entrepreneurship education that is to be introduced into the school curriculum.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Barrister Zubaida Damakka Abubakar, in her welcome speech said the forum was aimed at providing a platform for women from all walks of life to brainstorm and come up with what would better the lives of Kano women now and in the future.
She also urged Kano women to ensure they register for the National Identification Card in view of its immense importance.
Many women that participated at the event went with their products which included leather works, beads, bedding materials, perfumes and assorted spices.
 

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