Nigerian First Lady Seeks More Role For Women In Peace Efforts



First LadyNigeria’s First Lady and President of the Africqn First Ladies Peace Mission, Dame Dr. Patience Goodluck Jonathan has advocated an increased participation of women in
peace processes in Africa. Dame Patience Jonathan who spoke at the conference on Pan African Women Day held in Bujumbura, Burundi today noted that the slow pace of peace processes in the continent could be attributed to poor involvement of women:
Speaking on the theme of the conference which is The role of the African Women in peace and sustainable development, Dame Patience Jonathan quoted a United Nations report which indicates that eight percent of women participate in peace talks while only three percent are involved in signing of peace agreements:
According to her, the poor representation of women in peace processes means that crucial issues such as sexual violence and the well being of children would not get adequate attention they deserved during peace negotiation and agreement.
The non inclusion of women in peace processes, she added, would not allow the women to bring their uniting and stabilizing roles to bear on the process, as well as ensuring timely and lastly peace agreement.
Dame Patience Jonathan alluded to the impressive efforts of two female Heads of State, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Ms. Michelle Bachellet, former President of Chile who used their gender endowment to heal the wounds of conflict and stabilized their countries.
Areas in which women can contribute to peace efforts, according to her, include advocacy, capacity building, negotiation, reconciliation, provision of relief materials, and involvement in the rehabilitation of victims of conflict. She urged African women to work together for peace in order to achieve the much expected development of the continent.
Lasting peace and development, she observed, could be attained, by encouraging men to embrace dialogue as the most effective means of conflict resolution, adding that they should be prepared to make compromises in the in the interest of peace and development of the continent:
The Pan African Day conference is an annual event that draws attention to issues relating to women empowerment, health, education, and contributions to social development:
The conference was declared open by the President of Burundi; Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza
and was attended by the Envoy of the President of Liberia, Envoy of the First Lady of Equatorial Guinea, Representative of United Nations agency in Burundi, members of the Diplomatic Corp in Burundi, Parliamentarians and women activists.
The Pan African Women conference was hosted by the Burundi First Lady, Reverend Pastor Denise Nkurunziza.

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