First Lady Makes Case For Women, Children
29 Feb 2012
The First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan has expressed concern over the plight of women and children, even as she said women and children were mostly affected by violence that had erupted in various parts of the country.
The First Lady, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 1st National Women Retreat in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State said since women bear the greatest burden resulting from conflicts and violence and are also left to nurse the injured, they should be trained in conflict resolution and management.
While stating that the country’s corporate existence is being threatened by the various cases of violence in the country, she admonished state governments to preach peace and advise their residents to embrace dialogue in resolving crises.
“As women, since child-bearing has a time frame, we cannot continue to lose our children to violence. All hands must be on deck to stem the waves of violence so as to guarantee development in the country.
“Without peace, there cannot be development. It is only in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity that the needed peace in the country can be assured,” she stated.
While describing women as champions of national peace, Mrs Jonathan admonished them on unity and stated that “since the fabrics of our nationhood are closely woven, it is very difficult for us to live without the other.”
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina while speaking on the theme of the retreat which is “Empowering Women as Change Agents for National Transformation, Peace and Development,” described the poor security situation in the country as a great source of concern.
“Peace is eroding us and our sense of security is fading away as a country,” she lamented.
Continuing, she said: “Security can only be guaranteed through the involvement of women in peace building process, mobilisation of women for the expected transformation of the country.”
She further charged wives of state governors to do everything possible to improve the lives of women and children in their respective states.
“Why should a Nigerian woman die while giving birth to a baby? Governors’ wives should fight for the rights of women, clamour for more access to training and also ensure the provision of more credit facilities for women in your states,” she added.
Hajia Maina also condemned the discrimination against female politicians. She also urged state governments in the northern part of the country to increase school enrolment for the girl child.