Press Statement on the International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2024

On this occasion of International Women’s Day, LEDAP calls on the Nigerian government to prioritise
economic empowerment of women and to support the advocacy for equality.

With the theme ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’, this year’s International Women’s Day addresses
the inequalities and exclusion of women in economic and political affairs. In Nigeria, women occupy an
appalling 4.5% of legislative seats and an even smaller percentage in executive positions. In businesses,
women are underrepresented, and access to capital funds for the average woman is non-existent.

Nigeria has one of the highest rates of child marriage globally, with about 43% of girls married before the
age of 18, while they also face gender-based violence, including domestic abuse, rape, and human

Investing in women is not just a moral imperative; it is an economic and social necessity. Women’s
contributions to society, the economy, and the world at large are invaluable, yet they often face barriers
that hinder their full potential. Approximately 60% of out-of-school children in Nigeria are girls, limiting
their opportunities for personal and professional growth. Even when they graduate from school, they often
encounter workplace discrimination, with some employers requesting their bodies in exchange for
jobs. Women have lower workforce participation rates compared to men, and they face discrimination
when seeking employment under the guise of ‘some jobs are not for women’.

Customary laws in many regions of Nigeria often deny women inheritance and property rights, leaving
them economically vulnerable. Feminism is simply the radical notion that women are people and deserve
as many rights as men, including the right to own and inherit property.

By investing in women, we accelerate progress not only for women themselves but for entire communities
and nations. This day serves as a reminder of the ongoing fight for women’s rights and the need to
continue advocating for gender equality in all aspects of society.

Here at LEDAP, we firmly think that empowering women creates a more equitable, affluent, and
sustainable society. We work to provide women with the tools, resources, and opportunities they need through
our numerous programs and projects.

As we celebrate women today, let us together accelerate progress by investing in women—because when
women thrive, societies flourish. To all the remarkable women out there: may you always know your worth,
stand tall in your power, and never settle for anything less than you deserve because there is absolutely
nothing you cannot do.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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