World Humanitarian Day: Foundation Tasks FG On Affirmative Action On Women

Women of Purpose Development Foundation, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to initiate policies that would guarantee women’s right to affirmative action to encourage them to participate in politics in the country.

Concise News reports that the founder of the group, Mrs. Mabel Onwuemele, made the call on Monday in Abuja at a townhall meeting to celebrate this year’s World Humanitarian Day.

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According to her, the theme of the town hall meeting, “Celebrating Women Humanitarians”, is aimed at addressing the role of women in humanitarian work for the development of the country.

“Adequate implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action for women will foster positive governance; the Federal Government must address the discrimination against women in the country.

“Women are powerful and natural. Whatever you put in a woman’s hand she doubles it, so it is expected that women will be more valuable in humanitarian work than men.

“It is a clarion call to the government to include more women in political appointments and in the cabinets because women are much more organised and detailed than men.

“Women have been left behind and treated as second class citizens, but during elections, they come out with their kids to vote after which they are not found in the cabinet.

“I call on the Federal Government to include more women in the cabinet if it was to record adequate progress in governance in the country,” she said.

She maintained that the resistance to affirmative action had remained the enabling tool for perpetuation of discrimination against women in the country.

Humanitarian day: Group lauds security agencies for protecting lives, property

In related news, Network of Civil Society Organisation, Borno, on Monday commended security agencies in the country for their relentless effort in securing and protecting the territorial sovereignty.

Chairman of group, Ahmed Shehu said this at a media briefing in Abuja to commemorate World Humanitarian Day.

This year’s campaign was on Women Humanitarians, which supported the recognition that women deserved in strengthening of global humanitarian response as well as in protection efforts under the international law.

“It’s a day directed towards honouring humanitarian efforts worldwide and propagating the idea of supporting people in crisis.

‘World Humanitarian Day 2019 focuses on celebrating women humanitarians and their undying contribution in making the world a better place.

“Women humanitarians hold a sense of unparalleled uniqueness, one that add to the global momentum of female strength, power and perseverance.

“It is time to honour the women who have acted as first responders to the darkest hours of crisis,” he said.

Shehu said Boko Haram was in its 10th years, which led to the death of over 40,000 people and displacing about three million people.

He said the casualty was  usually soft target, innocent victims and aids workers, saying the day was a sober reflection to remember the humanitarians who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“The humanitarian community lost over 35 aids workers, majority are local actors, who sacrifice their comfort and life for others to live.

“We are urging security agencies to enhance security arrangement that will ensure that local actors are supported in reaching out to the affected population.

“We also call on UN Agencies and other partners to provide insurance cover to local civil society members they are partnering,” Shehu said.

He, however, sympathised with families of those who had lost their lives, urging all relevant agencies to enhance and ensure quick dispensation of the severance packages of the fallen heroes to motivate upcoming generation to be in the frontline to defend humanity.

The Executive Director, Women In the New Nigeria and Youth Empowerment Initiative (WINN), Mrs Lucy Yunana, called on the Federal Government to continue in its efforts in rebuilding the North East, adding that there should be special subvention for the region.

The Programme Director, Participating Communication for Gender Development Initiative (PAGED), Ms Ummi Bukar, who received an award as a woman humanitarian, encouraged women not to be tired in their relentless efforts.

She, however, said she would continue to create the platform to mainstream gender, particularly the voices of women, saying that conflicts and other forms of violence had changed gender roles, bringing more burden and responsibility upon women.

“Women shield men from attacks, most times when terrorist attacks, the women disguise the men and hide them, so they won’t be killed.

“Also during this periods of attack women are left to cater for the needs of their children alone,” she said.

World Humanitarian Day is commemorated Aug. 19 every year.