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COVID-19 lockdown impacted negatively on women’s livelihood — UNFPA envoy

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) lockdown has impacted negatively on the livelihood and income of women globally with unprecedented loss of jobs.

Isha Sesay, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The interview was part of the activities by the West and Central Africa Regional Office of the UNFPA to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day (IWD).

The day is annually marked on March 8 to raise awareness on the plight of women and girls and to celebrate women making giant strides in different areas of endeavour.

The international day has “Choose To Challenge” as its theme for this year.

Sesay, a British journalist of Sierra Leonean descent, who described women as very important group in every industrial sector, however, said the COVID-19 lockdown had affected the financial income and earnings of millions of women around the globe.

She explained that women were hard hit in terms of impact on livelihood and income, as a lot of industries which were dominated by women remained shut while the lockdown lasted.

She said: “We want to draw attention to the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on women; we want to see more support for small rural farmers in Africa, majority of whom are women.

“It has been particularly hard for women during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as caregivers, doctors, scientists have been on the frontline to save lives.”

The UNFPA ambassador, who called for greater access to capital and support for women to achieve self sustenance, added that “we should ensure that women access enough capital; they have been feeding families and communities with their meagre income.”

The journalist, who expressed confidence in the ingenuity of women, said the female folks had been leaders in different areas, beginning from the homes.

She added that women in leadership had excelled more than their male counterparts in many countries of the world.

Sesay pointed out that women had from time immemorial, distinguished themselves as shining examples in the leadership of their countries and organisations.

She expressed the hope that both women and girls, as well as the youth would be able to engage government positively for the desired change.

Sesay had previously worked as an anchor and correspondent for CNN but left in 2018.

As UNFPA’s goodwill ambassador, she shared her personal life experiences, her journey as a journalist and her interest in women and girls. (NAN)

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