A Civil Society Organisation, Partnership for Advancing Women in Economic Development (PAWED), has called on the Edo State Government to separate funding for Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes from that meant for other projects and programmes.
The coordinator of Edo State PAWED, Vivian Evbotokhai, made the call at a one-day policy dialogue organised to reflect on WEE intervention and programmes in the state on Tuesday.
Ms Evbotokhai said money meant for the WEE project is being diverted for other purposes due to lack of segregation.
She said it is necessary for the state government to segregate the budget for WEE, especially the budget earmarked for empowerment.
She said there should be a certain percentage for women, so it will be easy for monitoring and evaluation of how the money is spent.
“The Edo State Government is doing their best. I still feel it’s not good enough because a lot can still be achieved.
“They should also segregate because as it is from what we know, there are always lumping of activities together which makes it difficult to monitor and evaluate the impact of those activities as it concerns women.
“Lumping means same activities for men, women and youths. We want to know how many of these activities are for women, then we will be able to evaluate the impact of those programmes in the lives of the women,” she said.
WEE is an intervention sponsored by the Gates Foundation, which believes that women’s economic empowerment is beneficial not only to individual women but also to their children, households, and communities.
The programme aims to help women and girls move from limited power, voice, and chores at home and in the economy to having the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to compete equitably and benefit from economic gains.
The Nigerian government had earlier inaugurated a technical working group for the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework for the WEE interventions.
PAWED is a coalition that aims to build and nurture sustainable Nigerian Civil Society (CSO) advocacy to support leading WEE interventions at the national and states level.
The PAWED project works at the national level and in selected states in each of the six geopolitical zones to increase the salience of WEE amongst policymakers in Nigeria.
The Edo State PAWED held a policy dialogue in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Tuesday, to discuss ways to promote WEE among government officials and to catalyse the state government to fulfil its commitments to WEE.
The dialogue was supported by the development Research and Project Centre (dRPC).
Involving private sector
Mrs Evbotokhai said programmes carried out in collaboration with the private sector are more coordinated and delivered.
She said there is ownership and accountability for programmes organised by the private sector.
“But most times, programmes with government are just done haphazardly. Apart from that, programmes involving government is always politicised.
“They look for those in their political parties, wards, political atmosphere forgetting that every woman can be involved politically.
“So a lot of women are left out of these programmes because they do not belong to any political party or they do not attend ward meetings.”
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES at the end of the dialogue, a member of PAWED advocacy coalition, Bliss Ojeruse, said there are several government interventions supporting women but no impactful results out of them.
“It is important for them to work with credible development partners, CSOs if they are to achieve their aim of impacting positively on women’s lives in Edo State.
“This will also tackle issues of ghost beneficiaries of government-sponsored programmes,” she said.
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