SAID Nigeria and Rural Women


Words are empty except matched with concrete action. One of the challenges in our ethically and morally bereft world is the lack of sincerity as well as commitment to ones declared values whether of religious or secular nature. Individuals make promises and fail, government make promises and fail. Our commitment to marginalized women and children is unwavering.

Sadly, these promises and commitments are made without any intention, will or plan to keep them. Our hope is that today’s celebration is not just an empty jamboree, birds with no wings to fly.

The International community celebrates “World Rural Women’s Day” this day. It has been celebrated, primarily by civil society, across the world for over a decade. The first International Day of Rural Women was observed in New York on 15 October 2008.

The theme for this year’s commemoration -: building rural women's resilience in the wake of Covid-19 should ordinary inspire great work for rural women. To expect that the situation of rural women will change overnight will be to be naïve to the global prejudice against women in general and the double burden borne by rural women.

According to the Goalkeeper reports of the Bill and Melinda gates foundation, the Covid-19 pandemic has razed the world’s development achievements back 25 years. The urgency of fighting extreme poverty and hunger could not be more imperative.

Since the inception of SAID Nigeria in 2009, we have prioritized the development of rural women, their economic, social, and political emancipation. We have executed hundreds of capacity building workshops, seminars and conferences targeted at rural women and their upward mobility. Further, we have invested in infrastructure development to benefit rural women and their children especially girl child.

It is our commitment to work with and for rural women that led SAID Nigeria to establish Maria Magdalena Women & Youth Entrepreneurship Development Centre in the rural Alike Ikenanzizi Obowo. Imo State. Entrepreneurship and building an entrepreneurship mindset will be a tool to achieving resilience of rural women.

We are supporting rural women through, financial literacy, small business establishing support to enable them enjoy some economic independence which is vital for exercising and defending their rights in their families and communities.

The UN General Assembly in resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, established the International Rural Women’s Day. It shines light to both the contribution that women make in rural areas, and the many challenges that they face. It recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty".

No one should be left behind in the fight to end extreme poverty and hunger in our world. Today is an urgent call to Strengthening rural women's sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 by the UN.

Gender equality and gender mainstreaming is integral to all 17 SDG goals. Therefore, these 17 goals and 169 targets are central to achieving an inclusive and just society for all.

Building resilience in the wake of Covid-19 is an invitation to action, a vital element of gender equality. In this light, SAID Nigeria with partners recognize the imperative of "safe spaces" for sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing for rural women.

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, International Rural Women’s Day can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity. This is why your involvement is crucial to helping create a better world for both women and men.

We cannot achieve women’s rights, gender equality or the Global Goals for Sustainable Development without acting for gender inclusive world, in which violence against women and girls in the home and society are fought and defeated.

Today, on this Rural Women’s Day, we demand justice for rural women who are going through gender based violence especially in their families, communities and who are suffering most from the consequences of COVID -19.

SpringAid International Development (SAID) Nigeria joins the International Community in commemorating this Day. Please join us in standing for a more gender -inclusive world. An empowered woman will be aware of her rights and possess the tools to fight and demand for her rights.

Teddy Ihens

CEO SAID Nigeria