The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Ohaneye, has awarded a national medal to the Development Research and Projects Centre for its exceptional contribution to the development and launch of the women’s economic empowerment policy, and for its support to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
The award ceremony, which was held in Calabar, Cross River state was also meant to recognise the centre for its unwavering commitment to advancing gender equality in Nigeria.
In a statement released by the group, the minister said the organisation’s efforts have impacted women’s economic empowerment in Nigeria, through their collaborative work with the ministry.
“The recognition bestowed upon the DRPC-PAWED by the National Council on Women’s Affairs is a testament to their exceptional dedication and impact. It highlights the pivotal role of civil society organisations in driving positive change and transforming women’s lives in Nigeria. This recognition will undoubtedly inspire other organisations and stakeholders to support women’s economic empowerment initiatives nationwide,” she said.
In his acceptance speech, the DRPC’s Director of Projects, Dr. Stanley Ukpai, who represented the Executive Director, Dr. Judith-Ann Walker, said women’s empowerment has become a crucial agenda in Nigeria’s development landscape.
He added that recognising the potential and talent of Nigerian women entrepreneurs, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, alongside its partners, initiated the women’s economic empowerment policy to provide a comprehensive framework for their economic advancement.
This policy, according to him, aims at promoting gender-inclusive economic growth and fostering an enabling environment for women-owned businesses to thrive.
“Amidst the formulation and implementation of the women’s economic empowerment policy, the DRPC and PAWED WECs played a pivotal role in supporting the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs. This demonstrated its commitment to gender equality and women’s rights by actively engaging in advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of women’s economic empowerment among policymakers, civil society, and focus groups.
“To strengthen the evidence base for policy formulation, PAWED provided its research on various aspects of women’s economic empowerment, analysing the barriers women face in accessing credit, markets, and entrepreneurship opportunities and providing valuable insights for policymakers and stakeholders,” he said.
Ukpai disclosed that DPRC’s research in the areas of women’s economic empowerment has continued to contribute to the design of targeted recommendations aimed at addressing the challenges facing women in Nigeria.
“Recognising the significance of skill development in enhancing women’s economic participation, PAWED initiated advocacy and communications capacity-building programmes and training workshops. These programmes equip women entrepreneurs with leadership skills and access to mentoring and networking opportunities,” he added.