By; FUNMI OROYE ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday approved N200m fund for the Kaduna State Women Empowered Programme (KADSWEP) to support women at grassroots in their entrepreneurs activities which constitute the only reliable income for many families.
The Deputy Governor, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex, who represented the Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai at the 3rd Kaduna Women Empowerment Summit organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, held at Umaru Musa Yar’adua Hall in Kaduna disclosed this.
He said, government and society have a duty to empower their own, to removed the barriers to their inclusive participation to enable the society to benefit from the talents and energies of half of the population.
According to him, “across our diverse society, women are rightly venerated but are not as involved, included and empowered as they ought to be.
“Women carry, birth and nurture us all, they uphold the social order, they are the bedrock of families, yet they also work as the providers of often unpaid and underappreciated labour.
El-Rufai said inclusive development obliges nit only listening to women, to work with women, to support women, but also to insist on including at the table, contributing to the evolution and development of public and participating in their implementation, he said.
The Governor added that in Kaduna State they have 14 Commissioners of which five are women even the governments that used to have much larger cabinets did not have five female commissioners.
“Our Commissioner of Works is a woman. The Ministry of Justice, Women Affairs and Social Development, Environment and Commerce are headed by women, the two Heads of Service that have so far worked with us are women. The Attorneys General we have had are women and the first Chief of Staff appointed in this government was a woman,” he stated.
Governor el-Rufai said his government is implementing several initiatives and delighted to support women by the strong representation of young women in programmes like the Kaduna start-up entrepreneurship programme that teaches business skills and provides funding for viable business plan.
The Deputy Governor took time to enumerate how Kaduna State is ranking top in women involvement in governance.
He encouraged the women to continue to participate in politics and all other areas of human endeavours.
“We all have a duty to give women opportunities and provide meaningful access to politics,” he added.
In a welcome address, the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development of Kaduna State, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba said the ministry believes that changing gender stereotypes will not only benefit women and girls of Kaduna State, but also be tremendous benefits to men and boys.
She said they were happy to present the 50 Kainuwa gender ambassadors including four persons with disabilities trained by the best and ready to take on their communities.
The Commissioner said as they commence activities of stepping down on their training at their various communities, they would be requiring some structural and logistics support.
She commended the state government for supporting gender equity in the state.
Among the dignitaries that were present at the 3rd Kaduna Women Empowerment Summit organized by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development were the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex, Wife of the Governor Kaduna state, Architect Hadiza El-Rufai, Wife of the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State Mrs Bantex, SSA to President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, Deputy CBN Governor, Mrs Aisha Ahmad, Managing Director Avandis Consulting, Dr Aminu Emuwa, MD/CEO Bizi Mobile Cashless Consultants, Alhaji Aminu Bizi and Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development of Kaduna state, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba.