CJID Calls for Investment in Women Development

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has called for  investment in women’s economic empowerment, healthcare, and overall development.

Busola Ajibola, Deputy Director of the Journalism Programme at CJID who spoke during a media dialogue organized to commemorate the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2024, emphasized the crucial role of national and state budgets in shaping women’s lives. 

She stressed the need for investments in “top-notch education, skills training, entrepreneurship support, access to credit” to bolster women’s financial autonomy and drive inclusive economic growth.

Ajibola raised concerns about the vagueness surrounding the N45.8 billion allocated for “women empowerment” in the 2024 budget. 

“When budgetary allocations are “aimed at empowering women” like we have in the 2024 budget where N45.8 billion is allocated for women empowerment, it will be nice to have more clarity on what such empowerment are about, and which agencies are responsible for implementation. This helps with tracking the impact of such interventions on women.

“It is also now important that government and private institutions invest in women’s healthcare particularly maternal and reproductive health as we are now one of the countries with extremely high maternal mortality rate. Based on WHO latest data, our country now records 1047 deaths per 100,000 live births. a total of N2.86 billion for 17 projects is expected to be implemented for maternal-related programs. 

“From our analysis of the 2024 budget allocation to women, it was noted that in the last five years, the highest budget received by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was in 2022. Afterwards, it has consecutively dropped until the last budget passed in 2024.”

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Furthermore, she pointed to the alarmingly high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, citing WHO data showing 1,047 deaths per 100,000 live births. She urged increased government and private sector investment in women’s healthcare, particularly maternal and reproductive health, with the allocated N2.86 billion for maternal-related programs needing close monitoring for effective implementation.

The dialogue, titled Unpack Nigeria’s 2024 Budget and Its Implication for Women revealed a concerning trend – a decline in the budget allocated to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs over the past five years.

It hosted the Head of Programmes, Women Radio, Esther Alaribe, other speakers and discussants included Osasuyi Dirisu (PhD), Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Centre, Ogechi Okebugwu, Programme Coordinator of the Smallscale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria, Emmanuella Azu, Programme Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre and Nnaemeka Ajunwa – Digital Health Lead, Reliance Health.

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