The Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr .Christopher Thornley has said that the empowerment of women was key for any country to achieve poverty reduction and economic growth.
Thornley made the statement in Abuja on Tuesday at the National Women Business Summit organised by the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWEN).
The theme is “Strengthening The Women Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Pivotal to Ending Recession and Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’’.
He said that gender inequality was a human rights issue, adding that it was a sector that could achieve prosperity, development, inclusive government, accountability and transparency.
Thornley said most challenges women faced to grow their businesses were lack of finance, training and not being included in decision making processes.
He added that in order to respond to the challenges of gender inequality, there was need to recognise gender issues as central to and critical to economic development.
“We need to strengthen women capacities, skills and expand their opportunities to be fully developed.’’
Thornley said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a contribution of 20 million dollars to help female entrepreneurs in developing countries during G20 summit in Hamburg.
He promised that the office would help women access the fund, saying the fund would address the difficulty women-owned small and medium-sized businesses faced in developing countries.
Thornley advised the summit to discuss important things that would enable the women to get involved in decision making.