The wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari has charged authorities of the Nigerian Armed Forces to explore the potential of women for operational effectiveness while addresssing the nation’s security challenge.
Mrs Buhari noted that Nigeria was facing security crisis partly because the armed forces had yet to redefine the role of women and explore their potential for operational effectiveness.
She stated this at the opening of the Defence Headquarters maiden annual conference on women peace and security at the National Defence College, Abuja on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Aisha Buhari, who was represented by a Senior Special Assistant, Dr Hajo Sani, said injecting women in the theatre of operations had become necessary rather than restricting them to catering, finance, human resource, personnel, logistics and other support arms.
“The security issues bedeviling our country still abound probably because we are yet to redefine the Armed Forces of Nigeria to explore the potential of women for operational effectiveness. Women possess the traits of patience, perseverance, and passion,” she said.
“There is a need for the reformulation of laws and policies that border on the inclusion of women in the strategic reformation of effective operational deployment.
“The wide margin and lack of flexibility in structures based on gender should be abridged.
“Let me at this outset state that I and a good number of Nigerian women regard ourselves as soldiers; this is because we are the protectors of the family and the home; these are our frontier and territories.”
“Nigeria – Africa as a continent is a male-dominated environment and so are the armed forces. Because of this chivalric dominance, the military is often hostile to women.
“Women do not adapt to the armed forces as easily as men die to their genetic make-up. Although this varies on individual basis, specific factors which include rejection, isolation and unhealthy attitudes from mainly the men. These factors are especially pronounced within the operational combatant sectors of the armed forces.
“These factors manifest in a number of ways including sexiest jokes and remarks as well as women not being taken seriously in operations. Gender stereotype against women is a potential threat to women’s advancement in the military.
“There are a good number of reported cases where women are prevented from participating in combat duties excluding pregnancy or maternity.
“Women are often restricted to careers within supportive mustering of military community suave as finance, human resources, personnel, logistics, medical services, welfare, etc. I join the military women to take vehement exception to such psychological oppression.
“In many careers as housewives or in the military, women have been recorded to put in more effort in a bid to establish their equality.”
To this end, she called for training and developmental opportunities specifically designed to support female personnel.
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