Poverty Reduction: UN, Zamani Foundation, Others, Empowers 500.000 Women in Nigeria
By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
As part of effort to bring poverty to its lowest level in Nigeria, the United Nations Women in partnership with Zamani Foundation on Thursday launched a campaign “one woman one ID card” project aimed at increasing the level of financial inclusion among Nigeria women.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Kaduna, UN Women Representative, Ms Adjaratou Ndiaye, said that “for UN Women this campaign is a critical phase To Help women who can sometimes be among the most vulnerable when it comes to enjoying their rights, have their citizenship formally recognised and claim their rights in a variety of domain.
“In UN women, support to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, the possession of a national ID card is a fundamental stage to women’s participation in political governance, access to financial resources, their protection as a full citizen of a Nation and a sub region to guarantee their well-being and safe mobility.”
Ndiaye, explained that the project which is being piloted in Kaduna State, will empower 70% of Nigeria women living under poverty line, a majority of which are women facing added gendered challenges of lower representation in decision making positions, informal employment, lower income, lower education and limited access to information and constraints on mobility.
“That is why UN Women seizes the opportunity offered by the initiative of the Nigeria government in partnership with MasterCard to roll out a pilot phase of National Identity Management Cards embedded with biometric-based verification and electronic payment capabilities to ensure that a large number of women benefit from the operation.
“The strategy directly addresses four initiatives to encourage financial inclusion: development of diverse financial products; enhancement of payment processes, development of a credit system and encourage a saving culture mentality. She said.
Organiser of the project campaign in Kaduna State, Zamani Foundation, noted that, the scheme is targeted at empowering 5000 women in the state to reduce the poverty level among women and the society in general, because according to her, when you empower a woman you have empowered the nation.
Amina Zamani, International Project Coordinator, Zamani Foundation, also added that the idea was not just to give the women ID cards but “to financially empower them by training them in financial savingness, business trainings etc. The card will also give them access to everything you do with an ID card, voting rights, travelling rights, even in banking by using it to register for an account.
“We are also adding a financial component, it will make it easier for rural women who can not have direct access to banking services to have access through this card. You can as well get public and private support through this card.”
In her, address, Kaduna State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Rabi Abdulsalam, commended Zamani Foundation, UN women and other partners in the project for giving women who are mothers of the nation priority by launching the “one Woman one ID card” project and piloting same Kaduna.
According to her, “the government under the leadership of Governor El-rufai, is making commendable effort to upgrade the standard of economic status of women who are expected to be occupying about 50% on the National Population.
“We are aware that ignorance is the poverty of the mind and we must do everything possible while we and educate our women on whatever subject as long as it creates and foster empowerment to the society.