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IWD: World Bank restates commitment to closing gender disparities

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Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

The World Bank Group has restated its commitment to closing disparities between men and women as the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, said this in a message titled; “The World Bank Group and International Women’s Day” posted on the World Bank blogs on Wednesday.

Malpass said the bank’s commitment to gender equality had increased in ambition over time.

“Gender and development has been an International Development Association (IDA) Special Theme since IDA16, recognising that reducing gender disparities is essential for reducing poverty.

“In IDA20, the number of gender policy commitments has increased from six to eight, with ambitious targets in areas including economic inclusion, gender-based violence prevention, and childcare.”

He said entrepreneurship offered an important path to empowerment.

Malpass said the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), based at the World Bank, was supporting tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs, with more than 1.2 billion dollars of financing to date.

He said the International Finance Corporation was working with private sector clients to promote women’s entrepreneurship and advance economic inclusion in the workplace.

“Across the World Bank Group and with partners, clients and donors, there is much work underway that aims to address gender disparities including the ID4D initiative that works to close gender gaps in financial inclusion.

“Others are efforts to reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence and the Gender Innovation Labs that undertake impact evaluations to generate more evidence on how to close gender gaps.

Malpass said the labs were in Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.

He said most importantly, the bank was integrating gender in its operations worldwide.

“At the World Bank Group, we continue to hold ourselves accountable for progress on achieving more gender-inclusive recruitment, promotion, leadership development, and mentoring programmes.

“We also hold ourselves accounrable in diverse candidate pools and interview panels; enhanced career development and learning opportunities; and greater opportunities for work-life balance.

“Today, women account for 53.5 per cent of our workforce, and 43 per cent of management, a share that has grown significantly.

According to him, there is much work ahead, and International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to galvanise attention and to restate our commitment to closing disparities between men and women which is in the interests of everyone.

Malpass said that addressing critical gender gaps, including female labour force participation, offers an opportunity to boost incomes and stimulate growth.

He said research from the World Bank had repeatedly made clear that accelerating gender equality could generate significant economic gains.

According to him, the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2023 report published recently, shows that 2.4 billion women of working age do not have fully equal economic opportunity.

“In 2022, only 34 gender-related legal reforms were recorded across 18 economies, the lowest number since 2001. It is important that the pace of legal reforms accelerates.”

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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