IWD: Group asks FG to increase women’s access to education and loans

Seyi Abiodun, Convener of the Finance Conference, has urged the federal government to improve women’s access to education and loans.

Mr Abiodun made the statement on Friday during the 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations in Abuja.

The theme of International Women’s Day is “Inspire Inclusion – Invest in Her,” and it celebrates women all throughout the world.

He explained that the seminar was intended to empower women to earn wealth regardless of their income level.

According to Abiodun, a lack of education has made many women afraid to take measures towards financial independence.

“The government needs to concentrate on education, because culturally women have been disadvantaged, government should sponsor initiatives targeted at educating women.

“Some women still struggle with accessing loans and financial service providers need to educate people, especially women.

“Government can initiate that conversation and through it, partnerships can be built in the financial sector.

“It is not a bad thing for women to take loan, maybe to scale their businesses,’’ he said.

He explained that people could manage their finances by conscious savings.

He mentioned that three kinds of savings existed which were consumption savings, emergency savings and investment savings.

“Consumption savings is a savings you are putting aside to spend, people need to enjoy their money because they work for it, but it has to be planned.

“Emergency savings is for unforeseen circumstances because we need to be ready in cases of emergency, while investment savings is what you put aside long term to build a richer life,’’ he said.

Ifeoluwa Adegoke, a co-convener of the conference, said women have yet to achieve a lot towards their financial independence.

According to Adegoke, the conference will help building the confidence of women and enlighten them to be economically reliant.

She said “the government and private organisations need to inspire inclusion in women, because they are capable of holding managerial positions and leading.

“It is important that we build policies that will further empower women, because when women thrive, the nation will thrive.’’

Oluwatobi Ojediran, chief finance officer, Transcorp Hotels Plc, said that some research had revealed that empowering women was transformational to society.

According to Ms Ojediran, women should define what financial freedom means to them, embrace themselves and understand the dynamism that comes with being a woman.

“The competition is not with the man, it is with you (woman), devising ways to become independent, gathering the right learning, skills, relationships to enable you to become financially independent.

“The best person to invest in a woman is the woman herself, because you need to understand what that investment means to you,’’ she said.

She called on the government to initiate policies that reduce inequality gaps, ensure consistent advocacy on women empowerment.

“Employers of labour, policy makers should understand the uniqueness that comes with a man and a woman, that should be understood while making decisions to bridge gender gap,” she said.