Dr Mairo Al-Makura, Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria for the African First Ladies Peace Mission, highlighted the need to do so during a press conference in Abuja to mark International Women’s Day.
Al-Makura said that although women have always played a key role in the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the continent, they have always been victims of violence in society.
“The African First Ladies Peace Mission celebrates African women and will continue to play a crucial role in promoting peace on the continent.
“We must not lose sight of the fact that gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to the continent’s progress in terms of peace, security and rights.
“We recommit ourselves to upholding the right to peace and protection of all women and girls across Africa,” she said.
She said the mission celebrated many achievements of women in Africa and around the world.
“The women have shown themselves brilliantly during this difficult time with strength and courage while adapting to the rapidly unfolding circumstances.
“In doing so, they reminded the world of the importance of having women in leadership positions.
“Although we have seen tremendous progress on women’s rights and leadership in recent years, the pandemic threatens to reverse the progress that has been made,” she said.
She added that the pandemic had disproportionately impacted women in many areas, especially gender-based violence.
“As the world implemented the lockdown measures introduced to curb the pandemic, there has been a spike in domestic violence and conflict-related violence, again women and girls.
“To ensure that the response and recovery from COVID-19 recognizes their realities, women must have a seat at the decision-making table,” she said.
The African First Ladies Peace Mission was inspired by the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women, known as the Beijing Conference.
It was established to be a coordinating body of the wives of African Heads of State / Presidents and Government to play a supporting role to the African Union (AU), regional organizations and national governments in promoting of peace and conflict reduction and their effects on the African continent.
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