The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, launched the Gender Policy for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to promote gender mainstreaming within the defence departments.
Mrs. Buhari, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Hajo Sani, commended the military for taking step towards actualizing gender mainstreaming in the armed forces.
She said that the policy had the propensity of opening up opportunities not only for the female personnel but also for the children aspiring to join the military.
According to her, the policy has set the stage for every woman in the AFN to begin to play a significant role in the defence of the nation from all forms of security challenges that confront Nigeria.
She said that one of the cardinal focus of her Future Assured Programme under Aisha Buhari Foundation was the quest for gender inclusiveness and increased participation of women in decision-making processes.
She expressed hope that because women had been “imbued with wisdom that enables them to unite systems”, they would play a critical role in bringing solutions to various security challenges confronting the country.
This effort, according to her, is an added impetus to the efforts of Nigeria through the Ministry of Women Affairs and other civil society organisations working on ensuring women and girl children rights in the male-dominated environment of Nigeria.
She advocated that the policy should keep in view the challenges that militate against women emancipation, adding that gender stereotype against women was a potential threat to their advancement in the military.
According to her, there are a good number of reported cases where women were prevented from participating in combat duties, excluding pregnancy or maternity.