Bala Fatimah Kawu
The First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has urged Nigerian women to cultivate the habit of helping fellow women, rather than being cogs in their journeys of progress.
She also urged women to continue to aspire to greatness “in spite of global economic difficulties”.
Represented by Mrs. Hajo Sani, the First Lady called on women to continually be their sisters' keepers by encouraging other women in their various endeavours, rather than bringing them down.
The first lady spoke at the Happy Conference 2020 organised by Aspire Women Forum, an NGO, on Saturday in Abuja, themed “A Woman; My Purpose”
According to her, only women were responsible for lifting themselves up when brought down by life’s challenges.
She spoke: “Women are the only ones who can make themselves happy irrespective of our challenges; we must encourage each other to be happy, be each other’s mentors and remain role models to young girls.
“We look forward to having more women in all the professional fields, especially politics. That is the only route through which a woman president can finally emerge in this country,” she said.
She equally urged young girls to work hard and concentrate on their studies so as to excel in all endeavours.
Said she: “Aside from working hard, young girls must speak out when being molested either at home or in schools."
Cngratulating the organisers, Mrs Buhari said the forum was timely as it tended to encourage women to stand tall and speak out against gender violence and other global issues.
Mrs. Khadija Bukar, member, House of Representatives, said the conference was apt as it intended to put a smile on the faces of women who might be struggling in the midst of happenings in the country.
She explained the National Assembly was working to ensure that women were well represented politically, adding "We are hoping that the constitutional review that is ongoing will include 25 percent affirmative action for women in both elective and appointive positions so as to encourage more women participation in all activities."
The President of the forum, Mrs. Zainab Marwa, in a remark, said the conference was targeted at encouraging women to remain positive in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic and gender violence issues, noting 2020 had been a difficult year for everyone and some may have lost so much in the situation.
She said: “I just wanted to bring these women together to remind us that it doesn’t take much to make ourselves happy as long as we carry each other along.
“I wanted it to be an inter-generational dialogue that is why I brought in girls from our Aspire Girls Force from Garki Secondary School, Abuja as well as prominent female figures in the country.
“The take-home is that we know we can surmount anything that comes our way; we should also know that we can overcome any challenge that may stand in our way, especially if we are able to find our purpose in life.
“We must come together and unite our energies toward finding happiness in order to achieve our goals," she said.
She further noted The Happy Conference 2020 was created to foster dialogue among women of all ages as encouraged by the Beijing Platform for Action
Said she: “The platform is where the older generation will share their financial, emotional, and spiritual route to discovering their purpose, with the younger participants."