Inclusivity: CJID Rates Tinubu Government Low in Women Empowerment, Participation

Inclusivity: CJID Rates Tinubu Government Low in Women Empowerment, Participation

Despite President Tinubu’s promises to run an all-inclusive administration, with the specificity of giving more grounds to women to participate actively in all sectors of his government, a report from the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development on gender parity status in Nigeria has revealed that women’s participation has continued to decline. The report contains

Despite President Tinubu’s promises to run an all-inclusive administration, with the specificity of giving more grounds to women to participate actively in all sectors of his government, a report from the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development on gender parity status in Nigeria has revealed that women’s participation has continued to decline.

The report contains the budgetary and performance breakdown of the implementation. It focuses on women’s socio-economic well-being under President Tinubu’s administration since he was inaugurated last year.

Women’s inclusion and empowerment in government and other critical sectors play critical roles in deepening democracy and achieving economic growth and improved livelihoods in the country. As a result, women’s representation should be reflected in elections, appointments, and budget allocations.

However, the CJID analysis submitted that less than 19 percent of women have been appointed ministers under the current administration.

The report further explained that beyond the lack of gender equality in the appointments to crucial positions in government, the critical examination of the first budgetary allocation presented under the President Tinubu administration only appropriated just 0.05% of the 2024 budget, which N28 trillion to the ministry of women affairs.

The report also revealed that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, which can supplement the Women Ministry in addressing gender, children, and marginalised issues, allocated only 9.57% of its capital budget of 125,541,543,215 to projects aimed at people with disabilities, women, vulnerable people, and IDPs.

Though the minister of women’s affairs, Ms. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye last week Tuesday insisted that the ministry is already changing the narratives about women’s matters, the available evidence suggests otherwise. The data indicates that in comparison to the women’s ministry’s performance over the previous five years, the Tinubu government has not outperformed expectations.

According to the numbers in the illustration below, the Ministry’s highest budget in the last five years was received in 2022. The Ministry’s budget increased by 420.99 percent between 2020 and 2022, after which it fell until the most recent budget was approved in 2024.

Source CJID

While the Nigerian economy is driven by critical financial policies, and women are expected to play an important interconnected role in implementing these policies, the report explained that the government prioritised projects aimed at empowering women over educating them further.

Some empowerment programmes, however, do not indicate the industry or set of skills in which these women will receive the empowerment. This begs the question of whether the government is purposefully focusing on the advancement of women in the nation.

In its recommendation, the report advocated for active budget reforms that would empower Nigerian women in all aspects of life, closing gender gaps and improving overall socioeconomic goals to promote inclusivity.

The recommendation further urged the government to make “comprehensive budget assessments – Budget allocations should be thoroughly assessed for quality and alignment with implementation needs. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of past budget allocations and making necessary adjustments to improve future budgeting processes.

“Prioritise Funding for Gender Equality Initiatives: Allocate sufficient funds to initiatives aimed at closing gender gaps and reducing inequalities. This includes prioritising funding for healthcare access, maternal mortality, economic empowerment programs, women-led agricultural initiatives, and interventions addressing gender-based violence.

“Conduct Needs Assessments: Conduct regular needs assessments to identify the specific needs of women and prioritise funding accordingly. This ensures that resources are allocated to areas where they can have the greatest impact on improving outcomes for women.

“Invest in Women’s Empowerment: Allocate funds to initiatives to empower women, including increasing access to education, building their capacity, and enhancing their literacy. This investment not only benefits women but also contributes to the overall development of society.

“Strengthen the Informal Economy: Recognize the importance of the informal economy, which is predominantly made up of women, and allocate resources to support its growth. Women entrepreneurs and small-scale farmers should be able to access funding to support their initiatives.

“Ensure Accountability and Monitoring: Implement mechanisms to track the implementation of budget allocations and evaluate their impact on women’s lives. This includes developing an assessment framework and regularly evaluating initiatives/programs by different government agencies responsible.”

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