… Reaffirms Commitment to Women’s Empowerment 

The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering and providing an enabling environment for rural grassroots women across the metropolis to thrive given their pertinent roles in agriculture, food production and rural development.

Speaking at the Y2023 International Day for Rural Women event organised by the Ministry for Women in Epe LGA as well as Eredo and Ikosi-Ejirin LCDAs held at the Epe Recreational Centre, the Commissioner for WAPA, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada stated that the theme: “Rural Women Confront Global Cost of Living Crisis”, necessitated the need to encourage community awareness about the importance of women accessing resources and empowerment opportunities to secure long-term positive change towards reduction of poverty prevalent amongst grassroots women. 

“Rural women are the backbone of our State because they contribute significantly to agriculture, food security and sustainable development. They are also farming specialists, entrepreneurs, caregivers, and community leaders. Thereby making invaluable contributions to the well-being of their families and communities”, she said.

Explaining further, Dada said it is essential to acknowledge that rural women face unique challenges and are disproportionately affected by the global cost-of-living crisis because prices soar across open markets on basic commodities, healthcare, education and other essential services. 

‘To this end empowering rural women is not just a moral imperative, it is a critical step towards achieving sustainable development and eradicating poverty”, Dada asserted.

She described the event as an attestation of the Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu-led administration’s goal to transform the socio-economic development narrative of Lagos rural women who are gradually becoming the centrepiece of the poverty reduction strategy through women empowerment.

The Commissioner emphasised that WAPA will continue to initiate empowerment programmes that cushion the negative effects of the rise in the cost of living crisis, particularly for rural women and their small-scale businesses.

To improve access to quality and efficient healthcare delivery at the grassroots level, as well as early detection of diseases, WAPA also organised a free medical screening at the venue for blood pressure level, blood sugar check, medical consultation, breast and cervical cancer screening, free medication, health education and counselling services for the women.

One of the participants, Risikat Otuyemi applauded WAPA for its dedication to easing the plights of Women in the state and expressed gratitude for the free medical screening, saying “I am extremely happy about the free health screening, because these days, hospital bills are on the high side,  but with this initiative, we can all get screened for free and know our health status”.