In a landmark demonstration of the merits behind ‘maternal valorisation’ and celebrating the greatness of ‘womanly in society, IHDLife’s Chairwoman who is also the Executive Director of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) Health Partnership in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Chitwan Malhotra, met with the First Lady of Niger, Her Excellency Mrs Hadiza Bazoum, who is also the Patron of Noor Foundation, a charitable foundation geared towards capacitation of women and girls in the Republic of Niger. The two women leaders appended their signatures to a Memorandum of Understanding that is set to synergise their efforts in rolling out a broad-based framework of projects to thrust women into the forefront of leadership roles, entrepreneurial projects, and leading Niger’s national developmental trajectory from the front.
The commonality of the two women’s interests in the areas of quality healthcare delivery for the common individual on the streets as well as creating space for the capacitation of social equality groups, saw them bringing to the discursive table pathways towards the provision of quality and affordable health by riding on the merits of the robust digital platform, the IHDLife Marketplace. The latter is a fully integrated platform that facilitates end-to-end traceability of medical and pharmaceutical products and sundries whilst also ensuring quality checks, timeous order processing as well as digital vigilance in circumventing the debilitating effects of counterfeit medicines that ordinarily penetrate vulnerable markets of low and lower-middle-income countries of the African Global South.
The partnership avails a much-needed lifeline in the wake of Niger’s myriad of challenges, including under-development dynamics nagging the economy, coupled with a very high rate of maternal mortality and the high levels of illiteracy that impede the growth inertia of any emerging economy. Further to the health domain, the partnership is also set to capacitate women in income-generating projects, education and entrepreneurial exploits. The First lady bemoaned the gap in global leadership positions, noting, “There has always been a glaring absence of women from key global positions of decision-making, leaving women as a disproportionately under-represented social equality group, notwithstanding the irony that women constitute about 70% of the workforce in the healthcare and related sectors.”
Opening up women’s access to projects, educational opportunities, and skill-set accentuation facilitates the equity essential in enlisting women and men to the developmental agenda beyond the limited parameters of simple gender dichotomies. In her submissions during the protracted closed-door engagement with Niger’s First Lady, Dr. Chitwan Malhotra, had this to say, “Women are the nucleus of society’s caregiving systems, hence the need to consider their needs and sensibilities when mainstreaming and streamlining developmental initiatives.” Against this backdrop, Dr. Malhotra profusely thanked HE Mrs. Hadiza Bazoum for her expression of commitment to promoting healthcare as a key pillar of developmental deliverables in Niger.
The two women concluded their closed-door discussions by appending their signatures to a Memorandum of Understanding that encapsulates their pledge to work hand-in-glove towards the healthcare trajectory and other needful socio-economic pillars of the Niger communities, especially affording women the space and scope to become game-changers in the drive towards the robust economic anchor.