Sideline women at own peril - Wina
VICE PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says any nation that supresses the voice of a woman in matters of national development will be setting up a disastrous future for the next generation.
Ms Wina has advised United Nations member-states never to fall guilty of the offence of marginalising and discriminating women in national development because the females remained critical to the sustainable economic progression of all nations across the globe.
Delivering a keynote address to the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) side event in New York themed; “The voice of women in rural areas for sustainable healthy future: Ms Wina said the limited number of women in decision-making positions and control over land usage had contributed to low agriculture productivity among nations.
The Vice-President said that low agriculture productivity has often led to food insecurity among nations which has subsequently resulted into poor health among women particularly for those living in rural areas
She observed that women often make significant contributions to agriculture and rural economies across the globe especially in developing countries where the female gender represents the majority of up to more than 70 percent of the labour force.
“Any nation that suppresses the voice of a woman in any matter of national importance sets the state for a disastrous future for the next generation so may we never be found guilty of this offence, women often have limited decision-making power and control over land usage and later on the outputs.
And this contributes to low agriculture productivity and food insecurity leading to poor health among women and girls, especially those living in rural areas,” Ms Wina said.
The Vice-President explained that formulating effective land tenure policies and legal reforms which would take into account prevailing customs and practices among nations should improve modern land administration which is key to ensuring women’s healthy future.
Ms Wina said that without an efficient and effective land administration system, meaningful development would continue to elude nations to achieve sustainable food security and improved nutrition as well as natural resource management.
She said women and their organisations should be given a voice and fully participate in the decision-making process affecting their wellbeing in rural areas.
Government, she said, had developed a Climate Change Gender Action Plan meant to build a knowledge base on health; gender and climate change linkages and strengthen the mainstreaming of gender into national health policies to ensure sustainability.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has placed high priority on the need to address malnutrition by committing member-states to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
“One of the greatest challenge facing countries especially in the developing world, is malnutrition in all its forms, as women and girls continue to struggle with food insecurity. It is critical to ensure that policies are developed which enhance agriculture productivity and food security as this will inevitably lead to increased standards of health for women and girls,” she said.