UN Deputy Secretary General tasks African Women on Peace Building
Ms Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General charged Nigerian women to ensure active contribution in the peacebuilding process, transformation and stability of Nigeria. Ms. Mohammed made the call in Abuja via a video message during the inauguration of the steering committee of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), Nigeria Chapter, on 2 May 2019 at Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja Nigeria.
“Meaningful women’s participation has proven crucial to the success of peace and security interventions, efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate development and to work to make sure decision making in all sectors are responsive”. She urged the steering committee members of AWLN to drive the implementation of both the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda for 2063.
The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Comfort Lamptey laid emphasis on AWLN’s encompassing nature. That AWLN is not meant to replace other existing women networks but to harness their support to achieve their set objectives. Highlighting that the platform must involve an intergenerational angle drawing woman from all works of life, who are passionate about leadership.
Also speaking was Dr Tunji Asaolu, Country Representative, African Union, who keyed in that the AU recognises women to be very special beings as the essence of development revolves around women. Asaolu urged members of AWLN to ensure that the relevant instruments were being promoted in other to enable women enjoy their full rights.
Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Minister of Women and Social Affairs, lauded the initiative and pledged the support and partnership of the Ministry with AWLN programmes capable of fostering development. She called for the inclusion of women in the grassroots and those physically challenged, urging the new committee to be focused on the mandate of the network.
The newly elected Chairperson of AWLN, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo said that the steering committee members are aware of the numerous challenges facing women in Nigeria and globally. “We are very much committed and fired up to see that the narrative around women’s equal participation in leadership changes”.
AWLN was birthed in 2017, as a continental network of women leaders and activists from Africa committed to advancing a common vision for women’s empowerment and leadership in the development of the continent. AWLN seeks to galvanize the leadership of African women towards fostering lasting peace and sustainable development in all sectors and at all levels, building on, and working with, existing women networks. UN Women, the African Union and the Government of Germany have worked collaboratively to midwife the regional and national AWLN networks.