IWD 2024: MAMA Centre Demands Sustainable Measures For Women Empowerment

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IWD 2024: MAMA Centre Demands Sustainable Measures For Women Empowerment


The Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre) commemorates the International Women’s Day 2024 themed ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’.

We on this Day acknowledge the significance of diversity and empowerment across all sectors of Nigeria and beyond.

We uphold that adequate investment in women’s socio-economic empowerment will set a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth in Nigeria; as women contribute tremendously to the economy, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.
Just as promoting women’s economic justice and rights and closing gender gaps across spheres in Nigeria are key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

At the same time, we cannot conceal the fact Nigerian women are disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation across spheres including in politics, paid employment, inheritance as well as the informal private sector, where the recurring illegal and multiple taxes/levies cripple financial capacity and earning progression of women.

While an estimated 82.1% of women in Nigeria actively participate in the informal sector, such as agriculture and small businesses, their earning and financial capacity are hampered by multiple/illegal taxes—unlawful compulsory payments collected by the government without appropriate legal backing through intimidation and harassment of the women.
Regrettably, the enormous empowerment interventions at national and sub-national policy levels have failed to address the socio-economic plight of women, for lack of proper consultation, needs assessment and accountability.

Despite the importance of girl child education to provide her with diverse basic knowledge, skills, and training which contribute to personal development and the overall national development, more than 50% of girls are not attending school at the basic education level, while 1 million girls drop out between the first and last year of primary school (UNICEF).

Similarly, many women farmers have significantly less access to, control over, and ownership of land and other productive assets compared to their male counterparts in various parts of the country. This includes poor policy attention towards livelihood projects that have potential to contribute meaningfully to women’s socio-economic development and self-reliance.

We on this note call for increased women’s and girls’ educational attainment to promote economic empowerment and inclusion as well as sustainable economic growth. This includes more opportunities for upskilling and re-skilling that keep pace with rapid technological transformations, enhanced income generation.

We demand an enabling policy environment to facilitate women’s access to socio-economic assets such as land and loans to secure their active participation in economic leadership and the overall national development.

We also demand targeted actions and policy intervention in increasing girls’ access to education to support them in making informed choices that will enhance their earning capacity and potential across spheres, to a live secured and productive life.

We further call for increased sensitisation and awareness for women in the informal sector on the appropriate tax/levy through harmonised structure, system and process that prevent or sanction unscrupulous activities in the tax regime.


Chioma Kanu
Executive Director, MAMA Centre