Business and Professional Women, BPW, an NGO, on Monday called on stakeholders, philanthropists and the Federal Government to prioritise infrastructural development at the rural areas to enhance national economy.
Yinka Ajibola, National President, BPW made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the inauguration of BPW Karu Golden Club, Abuja.
Ms Ajibola decried the plight of rural women due to lack and inadequate attention of the government at all levels toward the vulnerable group.
She identified some challenges bedeviling the rural women to include lack of access to health facilities, education, access to farm land, seedlings, credit and skills acquisition programmes, among others.
“Empowering them is the key, not only to the well-being of the individuals, families and rural communities, but also to overall economic productivity, given women’s large presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide,’’ she said.
Ms Ajibola said that though the Federal Government had a lot of programmes focusing on women empowerment, poverty eradication, health, education among others but it should ensure they get to the grassroots.
She said that such programmes were mostly channeled to urban centres alone while rural women who bear the brunt of such challenges were often neglected.
Ms Ajibola, while commending Karu Golden Club for empowering some widows among others, however, challenged them to intensify efforts to further better the lots of large number of vulnerable groups in their zone.
According to her, the club which started in December 2017, has really done a lot but they still need to do more to affect the lives of large number of women, who are facing challenges on means of livelihood.
She assured them of BPW national and International body’s commitments to enable them achieve their desired goals.
“BPW stands for empowering members and other vulnerable women in the society. This can only be achieved through financial commitment and dedication toward service to humanity.
“Karu Golden Club is falling into the culture of BPW International. Within six months of its existence it has done so many projects including adoption of some women groups within the community, mobilise some to farm among others.
“We are going to provide them with platforms to enable them do better job geared toward ameliorating the plight of women in the society,” Ajibola said.
Also, Mrs Yemisi Bankole, President of BPW, Karu Golden Club appreciated the national body for deeming it fit to inaugurate the club.
She said that though they are not that rich and financially buoyant, but the little they contributed to other people’s lives goes a long way to make such beneficiaries happy and further transform their lives.
Mrs Bankole called for the support of both the Federal, State and Local government in the amelioration of the plight of the rural women.
According to her, rural women need governments’ support in the area of empowerment, skills and literacy acquisition among others.
Mrs Bankole, however, attributed the high rate of maternal and infant mortality in the country to lack of education.
She added that if some of these people in the society are well endowed with knowledge they would know how to guide against unwanted pregnancy and its related complications.
“Rural women are key agents for achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
“But limited access to credit, healthcare and education are among the many challenges confronting them, which are further aggravated by the global food and economic crises and climate change,” Bankole said.
NAN report that BPW has the mandate of developing the professional business and leadership potential of women at all levels through advocacy, mentorship, networking, skills building and economic empowerment programmes and projects around the world.