First lady charges military to encourage more women to join

Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, has charged the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to encourage women to join the military.

The first kady gave the charge in her address read by the wife of the Vice President, Hajia Nana Shettima, at the Defence Headquarter’s one day Gender Mainstreaming Conference with the theme, Building Capacity Through Gender Mainstreaming to Meet Security Challenges.

The first lady, while commending the leadership of Armed Forces of Nigeria for organising the programme, acknowledged that the event was timely.

“The theme is apt because it is about shaping a safer, better and more equitable world for all.

“I commend the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria for accepting the gender mainstreaming concept in line with the Global Best Practice and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325,” she said.

The first lady said that security challenges in the nation have become increasingly complex.

“Addressing these challenges effectively requests innovative and comprehensive approaches and gender mainstreaming stands as a powerful tool in our arsenal.

“Gender mainstreaming is now much more than a charity and a policy agenda, this is a fundamental issue about the way we perceive and address security challenges,”the first lady added.

She said it is recognised that security encompasses not only military strength, but also the protection of human rights, economic stability, social and environmental sustainability.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu said it requires a collective effort to address security issues and advance gender mainstreaming.

“We can start by ensuring that gender perspectives are integrated into security policies and strategies, encouraging more women to join and progress within the forces.

“We must promote women’s participation and leadership in security institutions, peace negotiations, conflict resolution efforts and bringing a more reconciliatory perspective into negotiations.”

She said that education and training programmes should include gender sensitivity and awareness amongst security personnel.

She further said that women should not be discriminated against for getting married or bearing children while in the military.

She advised that more cooperation is required towards elimination of gender based violence within security forces.

“Through the Renewed Hope Initiative project, we have strengthened women empowerment by letting women have access to training and education. Additionally, we have equipped the women with laptops and grants to support their educational and professional pursuits. This is because we believe that when you empower a woman, you empower a community and inevitably a nation. We therefore hope that the leadership within the Armed Forces will extend this dialogue beyond the confinement of this conference and empower women and ranks and their ranks.”

The Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Christopher Musa and the Minister of Defence Mohammed Baduru applauded the first kady and agreed to look into her recommendations.
The maiden edition of the Nigerian Defence Gender magazine which featured the first lady as the cover story was launched at the event.

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