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The UN Women has called for the recognition of unpaid activities of women across globe and Nigeria in particular in order to address poverty, strengthen institutions and financing gender perspective for economic growth.

Concerned about the significant gap in public expenditure for gender allover the world, the UN Women said based on African Development Bank estimation, there is a funding gap of 40 billion US Dollar in Africa and in Nigeria less than 1 percent public budgets is allocated to gender equality and women empowerment which does not align with the extent of gender equality concerns.

The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong who also stood in for the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Mohamed Malick Fall, stated this during the unveiling of the P-Bat Cares for Nigerian Women E-Market Portal, National Women Helpline and Naija Save Nigeria Integrity/Transparency Brigade by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs at the Aso Villa on Thursday in Abuja.

“From a global perspective by 2030 an alarming 347 million women and girls could be trapped in extreme poverty. So, there is need to acknowledge and account for significant contribution women make to economy globally through paid and unpaid work.

“If these activities of unpaid work were giving a monetary value, then they would represent 40 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

“In Nigeria over 70 percent of the poorest individual are women, and 78 percent of girls in the North discontinued education due to early marriage.

“Additionally, women devote six hours to task such as gathering of firewood, fetching water and tending to sick as a result these women have the limited time to invest in productive and economic activities, and all these unpaid activities are not recognized and do not have financial value.

“Despite these challenges there persist a gap in access to education and unproductive resources for women and girls. They also face obstacles related to unpaid care work, discrimination, economic and political participation”, she emphasized.

Eyong expressed further that while government of Nigeria and other gender stakeholders continue to deligently address these gender biases and mitigating factors, a crucial alleviating measure remains the promotion of gender equality investment and financing.

While appealing to government, donors and traditional rulers to invest in women to accelerate the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) Eyong said meaningful progress can never be achieved unless there’s a collective rethink on the existing investment and funding architecture for gender equality and empowerment of women.

“Empowered women will not only contribute to thriving economy but also serve as a catalyst for prosperity. Therefore, it is imperative to allocate financial resources to enable women have adequate access to resources and economic opportunities”, said the UN Women representative.

Eyong however reaffirmed UN-Women dedication to promoting innovative solutions to address the economic challenges confronting women and girls in Nigeria.

She said, “Gender equality and women empowerment is very integral part of our mission and we recognized that without achieving gender equality and women empowerment which is SDGs 5, we will not achieve other 16 SDGs”.

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