By Ignatius Ushie
At a Media briefing held to herald the commemoration of the twin International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day, 2021, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG has stated that Nigeria’s rural women’s resilience in the face of the many adversaries they faced day in and day out, deserve to be celebrated.
The commemoration themes for the 2021 Rural Women and World Food Day are “Rural Women and Girls Building Resilience” (for International Rural Women Day) and “Our Actions are Our Future-Better Production, Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life” (for World Food Day).
Dame Pauline Tallen, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Engineer Funso Adebiyi, FNSE stated this on Thursday, 14th October, 2021, describing the United Nations’ declared 15th of October International Day of Rural Women and the World Food Day’s 16th of October as an opportunity to focus on the challenges of the rural women in Nigeria.
Tallen as represented projected the profile of the rural women as not-educated but sent their children to school to be educated, and also put some positive virtues in those children.
The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs further described the World Food Day, 2021 as an opportunity to showcase the contribution of rural women to putting foods on the table of their husbands and children; “They form a large proportion of agricultural workforce; they are truthful, faithful to their husbands and reliable in the upbringing of their children and they are the ones who can call any child who wants to be wayward to order, not Policemen.”
The Minister as represented by Engineer Adebiyi further said that “The rural women suffered a lot of deprivations; they lack education and opportunities, and along with their children, are largely ignored by the society or deprived in the communal sharing of properties or inheritance of even their late husbands, especially farmlands and landed properties.
The rural women of Nigeria suffer Gender Based Violence (GBV), insecurity; they are the mothers of those homeless children, mostly seen around. Yet, the rural women mostly produce the foods to feed you and me. I think we need to give it up for the rural women of Nigeria”, he said.
On what the Ministry and the Government has been doing to assist the rural women, Tallen listed aggressive advocacy, provision of welfare to those who could be captured under households and cooperative groups, fighting insecurity and seeking to forge stronger coordination of hitherto isolated efforts of most Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Private Sectors and Development Partners who have mandates to develop women. We seek better coordination for effectiveness of these efforts.
The Honourable Minister’s Representative further disclosed the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for the planned meeting with Development Partners, NGOs and CSOs which will take place very soon and pleaded with the affected stakeholders to coordinate with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to achieve this coordination for the development of more women.