Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning .Mrs, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed has said that Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) will ensure financial inclusion especially for women through access to credit and development of small businesses for our women. Zainab said this at the 4th Department Bank of Nigeria International Women’s Day Celebration and command performance. She said, “It is heartwarming to note that the Development Bank of Nigeria today, is in the vanguard of creating sensitisation advocacy for women’s right and advancement.
This is instructive because part of the mandate of DBN, is to ensure financial inclusion especially for women through access to credit and development of small businesses for our women. As the theme of this year’s celebration suggests “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality #EmbraceEquity”, digital divide has far reaching consequences for women’s economic, social and political empowerment
She added “Without access to technology, women cannot make the desired progress in our country. In this respect, we must seek for innovative solution that can facilitate how to leverage technology to close the gender gap and empower women to have access to health care information, financial services, education and governance processes. Today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievement of women and advocacy for gender equality, we must also recognise the tremendous contributions women have made to our society and the challenges they face. It is a thing of pride to say that we have broken down barriers and shattered glass ceiling in every field from politics to science and art. But despite our incredible achievement, women continue to face discrimination, inequality and violence. Therefore development is incomplete without the participation and contribution of women. On this note, I want to sincerely thank the Board and Management of the Development Bank of Nigeria for this laudable initiative and I urge you to continue on this path for the good of our women and the progress of our dear nation.
In her remarks, Minister of Women Affairs Paullen Tallen lamented on the poor performance of Nigerian women at the just concluded elections noting that there was need for women to sustain their advocacy and change their strategies to ensure that more women are represented in the political process in national development. The case of Senator Benanin in Adamawa state is one classical case we intend to pursue to a logical conclusion at least one for the first time a female governor in Nigeria.
She said, it is expected to highlight the need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital economy among women and girls.
“Bringing together women and other marginalised groups into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potentials for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality .
Also speaking, the MD/CEO, Development Bank of Nigeria Plc DR. Tony Okpanachi said that at DBN, we believe that innovation is key to driving gender equality. We recognise and celebrate the unique contributions that women bring to the technology space, and we are committed to creating a workplace where women can thrive and succeed. We have made great strides in advancing gender equality within our establishment. We have implemented programs to support the development and advancement of women in leadership, and we have also established partnerships with organisations that work to empower women and girls across the country. This gives expression to our mandate of alleviating the financing constraints faced by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis. Our deliberate efforts towards gender-focused capacity building and financing speak positively to our commitment to the cause of engendering gender equality across every sphere of human endeavours.
“We acknowledge the fact that there is still much work to be done in this regard. Therefore, we must continue to challenge gender biases and promote diversity in all aspects of our lives. We must join our hands together to close gender disparity and provide more opportunities for women to gain the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy.
We must also ensure that technology is used to empower women, not reinforce gender stereotypes. We need to challenge biases in data and algorithms that perpetuate gender-based discrimination and ensure that technology is designed with the needs and perspectives of women in mind.
Innovative solutions are needed to address the unique challenges faced by women and girls, such as access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. We need to leverage technology to provide women with the tools and resources they need to succeed, from online education and training programs to mobile health clinics and e-commerce platforms.