By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association joined other women in the world and Celebrates international women’s day in Maiduguri. This year celebration tag as “I’m generation equality.” by the Noawa 7 Div Maiduguri.
In her speech, the Chairperson of Noawa 7 Division Chapter, Halima Yahaya Ibrahim says “It sums up all the other themes from previous years. “Each for equal” on the other hand centers around collective individualism.
The difference we want to see should be started with each one of us then bring it to the table and collectively we make a positive impact. It’s also about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world.
“In the Early years, the major problem was giving the girl child an education. Even at that, she was educated on basic housekeeping activities such as sewing craft home keeping cooking and knitting. But over time, the indices changed and till today, they keep evolving, ranging from the rights to wear trousers to d right to vote. Ultimately, the Beijing 1995 conference marked a turning point for women’s liberation. The meeting of women leaders from across the world in 1995 gave rise to the Beijing declaration which was adopted by the United nations.
“By the time the conference was closed, critical areas of concern were listed. These are: women in environment, women in power and decision-making, girl child, women in the economy, women in poverty, violence against women, human rights of women an so on.”
Hajiya Halima Yahaya Ibrahim says “Today resolving all these issues zero down to gender equality. How women understand the term gender equality goes a long way in achieving it. It has a little or nothing to do with something as basic and natural as domestic roles. Gender equality means equity which in turn ensures justice for everyone. The mindsets of women and men alike needs to change to conform with expectations and requirements of the role of women in today’s world.
Today’s woman has broken professional barriers and even set records. But the vital question still remains, have we conquered the basics? Does the woman have the liberty to report a rape case without being stigmatized? Does the woman have the liberty to report gender-based violence, aggression and sexual violence without being judged, without being ridiculed, without been blamed? Have we? Have we crossed that barrier that culture sets to the detriment of the girl child and woman?
These are the basic questions we need to answer today and not simply wave it off with the wave of the hand and then focus on breaking the professional barriers alone. We are not in competition with men, we are not fighting the system, we simply want to have equal treatment in terms of rights of benefits, obligations and opportunities.
“In this regard, the NAOWA 7 Division, under my leadership and in collaboration with North East Reconstruction Initiative (NERI) is undertaking an adult education and skills acquisition program for our women and widows in particular to equip them with the basic economic and survival skills. It’s the hope of our National President in person of Mrs. Ummu Kulthum Buratai that every woman in the barracks is self sufficient.”
“We also hope to carry out sensitization programs for women on knowing what their rights are and how to access Justice when wronged. The soldier’s wife is exceptional. We are resilient women. Our husbands leave us for war and we are left with the brunt of living without them. If we are lucky they return and if we are not we raise our kids alone and they grow up Orphaned. So, every woman you see here is a strong woman.
“The women of seven division and the north-east in general are women in conflict areas and thus, we need special attention and exceptional consideration. The United Nations security council resolution 1325 serves this purpose.
The resolution is on women, peace and security. It reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and post-conflict reconstruction.
It also seeks to protect women and girls form gender based violence, particularly rape and other sexual abuse in situations of armed conflict.
Among us here today are survivors extra-ordinary. Extra-ordinary women that have survived the worst, life can throw at anyone. They share their stories with the hope that we get inspired to share ours and be better versions of who we are. Also among us , are child’s rights and Women’s rights activists who educate us on our rights and how to access them.”
Among the dignitaries attended the program are; Theater Commander Maj. Gen. Adeniyi represented by Brig. Gen. A Ishaq, Ag. GOC. 7 Divition Brig. Gen A K Ibrahim, Formations and unit Commanders, UN women head Mrs. Lilian Unaegbu, FIDA representative Barr. Zara Umar Yakub, Human rights Activist Comrade Lucy D. Yunana, NCWS and Paramilitary Wives Associations.