Nigeria’s first lady Aisha Buhari has called on employers to set up daycare facilities at their workplace to enhance the empowerment and productivity of women.
Mrs Buhari stated this on Thursday at the re-launch of the Dr Aisha Buhari National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) Day Care Centre in Abuja.
Represented by Dolapo Osinbajo, the first lady stressed the importance of daycare services to women’s empowerment.
She said it improved access to affordable daycare services and reduced the barriers to women’s full participation in the labour force.
“The provision of affordable and reliable daycare services is a potential and important policy step for empowering women and generating economic opportunities for them,” explained Mrs Buhari. “It promotes nutrition and learning among children.”
Also, women affairs minister Pauline Tallen noted that establishing daycare centres in workplaces fostered workers’ health and development.
Mrs Tallen called on men to support and encourage their wives to adopt exclusive breastfeeding practices for the growth and development of their babies.
“I call on organisations to ensure that they establish daycare centres and creches to support women breastfeed their children while at work,” the minister stated. “These children are the future hopes of our dear country. We cannot afford to leave them at home and not give them the necessary attention they deserve.”
On her part, Asabe Vilita-Bashir, the centre’s director-general, added that Mrs Buhari’s daycare services would be a home away from home for children providing social services for working mothers.
According to Ms Vilita-Bashir, the location of the centre is strategic because it provides easy access to mothers to engage in exclusive breastfeeding as well as serve as a “training ground for pre-school children.”