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April 19, 2024
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Members of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) with former Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen commemorating the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 in Abuja on Saturday (9/3/24)

Ex-minister advocates women empowerment to protect children’s future

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, has called on the society to support the empowerment of women to be able to protect the future of their children.

Tallen made the call on Saturday, in Abuja at an event organised by the Defence and Police officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), in commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024.

The event is with the theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate the Diversity and Empowerment of Women”.

She said IWD was set aside to amplify the need of women in all facets of national development, saying that the nation would not be able to get things right without women being at the decision table.

The former minister said the country needed more women at the helms of affairs in the country, urging men to emulate President Bola Tinubu who encouraged his wife to be a senator for three terms.

“We also need to encourage men to support their wives to be on the decision making table so that laws that would protect the rights of women would be made to protect the family.

“This is because the women always think of the family and the family includes our children both boys and girls.

“Equality must start from home. As parents we must teach our children to respect one another and have the fear of God so that we can have a better country,” she said.

Tallen also urged the wives of the military personnel and other security agencies to continue to stand in prayer for their husbands while they strive to restore peace to every part of the country.

“I am calling on all of them to stand in prayers for your husbands because the role of the woman is to be the engine room of prayers.

“The security challenges facing Nigeria can only be solve through prayers and I am happy to state clearly that the wife of the defence chief is a woman of prayers and a prayer warrior.

“I call on her to engage the wives of other service chiefs to engage in prayers for the president, wife of the president and especially security chiefs because they are the ones fighting insecurity across the country.

“I believe when women pray something happens,” she added.

The President of DEPOWA, Mrs Oghogho Musa speaking at the DEPOWA International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 in Abuja on Saturday (9/3/24)

The President of DEPOWA, Mrs Oghogho Musa, said the event was organised in line with commitment of DEPOWA under her leadership to empowering women.

Musa said that when women are empowered, they would be able to impact their communities, their environment and essentially the society at large.

She said that “Inspire Inclusion” was adopted as the theme for the year with its main goal being to encourage everyone to recognise the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life so towards forging a better world.

According to her, the key word here is being ‘Encouraging” challenges us to showcase our values and worth individually and collectively as a group whenever the opportunity arises.

“As women, we often experience systemic barriers and discrimination in workplace, politics and other various aspects of our everyday interactions. We should not be discouraged and also not view these situations as gender matters only, but as matters of human rights concerns.

“The great women we celebrate across the world and back home in Nigeria were not deterred by these circumstances.

“Their achievements would continue to serve as lessons for us to draw inspirations to enable us face our daily endeavors,” she said.

Musa urged all women groups and professionals to be steadfast, use their positions and seize the opportunity presented to them to inspire more inclusion of women in the decision-making, leadership and development of the society.

She said that DEPOWA recently recorded a milestone, when it constructed a Maternity Centre in the Nigerian Defence Academy Hospital in Kaduna and named it after the immediate past president, Mrs Vickie Irabor.

The project, according to her, was conceived and executed in line with the ideals and principles DEPOWA stands for and also in resonance with her vision for the association.

She said her vision was to see women and girls become productive and contributors to family and society, driven by a deep sense of values and a hardworking spirit.

According to her, the very first step to achieving this is to provide facilities which could potentially reduce maternal mortality rate and guarantee the survival and wellbeing of mothers.

“Also, we shall continue to improve the quality of training at the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre by upgrading the facilities and expanding the programs offered too,” she added.

A resource person, Mrs Jiritmwa Goyit, said inclusion encourages everyone to recognise the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life, including those from marginalised communities.

The Social and Gender Advocate said that investing in women was a way to promote gender equity and empower women economically.

Goyit stressed the need for investment in women’s financial inclusion was particularly critical in Nigeria, where a study revealed a concerning 12 per cent gender gap.

This, according to her, means that women are significantly less likely than men to have access to formal financial services. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by AbdulFatai Beki/Isaac Aregbesola

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