Financial inclusion of women can unleash economic growth

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Stakeholders have been urged to promote women’s access to financial services and socio-economic empowerment programmes as it can unleash a strong force for innovation, productivity, and economic growth.

Financial sector deepening organization, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, EFInA, in a statement said that women are more likely than men to invest resources and profits in children’s health and education.

The organisation said it will be collaborating with the Development Research and Projects Centre, dRPC, under the Partnership for Advancing Women In Economic Development, PAWED to hold a dialogue and dissemination event for the report on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Nigeria.

The event which is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, as stated in the statement, is an opportunity for stakeholders within the financial inclusion space to learn about the progress made over the years in Nigeria especially as it relates to women and micro business owners.

The Chief Executive Officer of EFInA, Isaiah Owolabi, in his statement, expressed the need to accelerate the investment and impact of women-led businesses.

According to him, EFInA has, through their work, proven that women in Nigeria are underrepresented in formal wage employment requiring higher education and specialized skills, and overrepresented in vulnerable or informal employment.

“The majority of women in Nigeria lack access to healthcare, education, water and sanitation, financial services, and ICT; all of which are necessary for economic growth,” he said.

Owolabi further hinted that the traditional involvement of Nigerian women in subsistence-level activities essentially means they are historically equipped with entrepreneurial skills, know-how, and experience that can be leveraged for inclusive growth and lasting national prosperity.

“Women are still facing significant challenges in access to markets due to lack of finance, societal challenges, lack of essential business skills & prevailing gender norms.

“Learnings from the report and conversations from the event would inform the reshaping of investments that support women’s enterprises and yield better empowerment and economic opportunities for women,” he added.

He noted that the dialogue which would be moderated by Dr Oluwatomi Eromosele, a research Manager at EFInA, would also have in attendance: Dr. Zakariya’u Lawal mni, Director, Monitoring and Evaluation Department – Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning; Barrister Vera Ndanusa, National President – National Association of Women Entrepreneurs, NAWE; Uzoma Dozie, CEO Sparkle; Sophie Abu, Head Gender Desk -Financial Inclusion Delivery Unit of CBN and Emezino Afiegbe, Senior relationship manager- Women’s World Banking.



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