The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) says it disbursed more than N98 billion to women entrepreneurs across Nigeria as at February 2022.
The Managing Director of the bank, Tony Okapnachi, disclosed this in Abuja during the bank’s International Women’s Day event.
Okapnachi said the bank believes gender equity was crucial to meeting national development goals, reducing human suffering, and solving society’s biggest environmental problems.
Women across the world, he said continue to suffer from gender inequality, including child labour, forced marriages, gender-based violence, sexist policies, as well as barriers to participation in education and employment.
Okapnachi identified the stereotypes and biases that women have to contend with to include “Women Can’t Be Leaders; Women Are Irrational; Women Can’t Handle Huge Responsibilities and many more”.
For a society to make progress, Okapnachi said “we must challenge these preconceived notions”.
As Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Nigeria Plc, he said he has led a team that was deliberately breaking these biases with policies and decisions that promote women’s rights and equality.
This, he said was anchored on the appreciation and recognition of the strategic roles women play as reliable builders of micro, small, and medium scale enterprises, a segment the bank is mandated to provide funding to.
Okapnachi noted that it was admirable that society was now challenging these biases, especially in the workplace, adding that we must also be aware of the unintended consequence of this new level of openness and embrace it with optimism instead of fear.
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