The United Nations (UN) has underlined the need for governments all over the world to put women and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic disease as the panacea for economic recovery.
This call was made by the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Chair of the UN’s Sustainable Development Group, Ms. Amina Mohammed, while speaking at Dangote Women’s Network (DWN) webinar titled: “Choosing to Challenge for a Win-Win: Overcoming Challenges in a Gender-Biased World,” to commemorate the International Women’s Day, which is marked in March every year.
During a virtual video call from the UN Headquarters in New York, Ms. Mohammed, who was the main Speaker at the DWN Webinar, said gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through the pandemic, to recovering faster and to building a better future for the world.
Besides, President of the Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, in his welcome remarks at the event, reiterated the group’s commitment to the empowerment of all categories of women as a top priority of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), the philanthropic arm of the group.
Mohammed said in her presentation that putting women and girls at the centre of any economic recovery plan would fundamentally drive better and more sustainable development outcomes for all, support a more rapid recovery and place the world back on a footing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Everything we do during and after the COVID-19 crisis must aim to build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. This is perhaps the clearest lesson emerging from the pandemic. This includes gender-responsive economic and social policies and placing women’s economic lives at the heart of the pandemic response and recovery plans,” she insisted.
Mohammed noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the already existing gender inequalities and vulnerabilities in the social, political and economic systems and insisted that there is need for governments around the world to take urgent steps to protect women and expand support services that would reduce the impact of the pandemic on them.
She said recovering better would require drawing lessons from the current pandemic to support and bolster economic recovery across the globe while stressing the need to invest in energy transition, connectivity transition, empowerment and sustainable infrastructure to enable the world bounce back better from the current socio-economic crisis.
The UN’s deputy secretary-general also commended the President of the Dangote Group for his contribution through social and economic investment in women and in other sectors of the economy.
She said: ‘Let me begin by thanking my brother, Aliko Dangote’s support not just in advocacy, he has put his actions and investment in women. You can see that in the work he does in the Aliko Dangote Foundation, in the group and in the spaces he occupies.”
Dangote stated in his remarks that women empowerment would enable them play important roles in supporting a sustainable future in society and the entire world.
He said that the Dangote Group, through the ADF, has been fully engaged in women empowerment through the provision of nutrition to women and children as well as education of girl child.
“This is a testament of our unrelenting efforts to promote the development of the girl-child and ultimately the empowerment of women, not only within the Dangote Group, but also within our communities and the nation at large,” he added.