ActionAid calls for more resources to empower women, vulnerable groups

Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, on Thursday called for channeling of more resources to empower women and vulnerable groups for sustainable development and growth of the country.

Obi made the call at the opening of a three-day workshop on: “Capacity Strengthening on Public Finance Management and Accountability for Media Actors’’, in Abuja.

She said women should be trusted with leadership positions to drive the change Nigeria required.

According to her, Nigerian women are the worst hit by poverty and therefore require special support to improve their economic power and potential.

Obi, who is also the Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, stressed the need for equity in resource allocation.

She said that this was necessary for women in the country to contribute more meaningfully to national growth and development.

She expressed worry that the issues surrounding rape were frustrating women and called for concerted efforts to protect and support them overcome the trauma.

She appealed to the media to highlight issues of women and vulnerable groups and pressurise governments to change their policies toward their care and support.

“The media should engage in reportage that can change lives and for the people to do the right thing.

“We are here to demand for accountability as media actors and representatives of various organisations, you have a duty to the country,’’ she said.

The ActionAid country director stressed the need for all stakeholders to work together and find more innovative ways for the betterment of the country.

She said that women should be sensitised to get involved in leadership to steer the country to the right path.

Mr Kenneth Okoinene, the National Advisor, ActionAid Nigeria, who spoke on “Gender Responsive Public Service’’, described the delivery of public services as the constitutional right of the citizens.

Okoinene said that public service must serve the citizens’ needs as contained in the Constitution.

According to him, public service should meet the needs and priorities of people based on their gender, age, disability, social context and geography.

He said that where such services were not gender responsive, the burden of inequality increases.

Okoinene stressed that public services must also recognise the social status of everyone in the society so that resources would not end up benefiting few people.

He called on the media to push for gender responsiveness in public service and track allocations to ensure accountability and disadvantaged areas were attended to. (NAN)