The First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has urged Nigerian women to continue to aspire to greatness “in spite of global economic difficulties”.
Mrs. Buhari spoke at the Happy Conference 2020 organised by Aspire Women Forum, an NGO, on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was: “A Woman; My Purpose”.
Represented by Mrs. Hajo Sani, the First Lady called on women to continually be their sister’s keepers by encouraging other women in their various endeavours instead of bringing them down.
She said that only women were responsible for lifting themselves up when brought down by life’s challenges.
“Women are the only ones who can make themselves happy irrespective of our challenges; we must encourage each other to be happy, be each other’s mentors and remain role models to young girls.
“We look forward to having more women in all the professional fields, especially politics. That is the only route through which a woman president can finally emerge in this country.”
She also urged young girls to work hard and concentrate on their studies so as to excel in all endeavours.
“Aside from working hard, young girls must speak out when being molested either at home or in schools,” she said.
She congratulated organisers of the event, saying that the forum was timely as it tended to encourage women to stand tall and speak out against gender violence and other global issues.
Also speaking, Mrs. Khadija Bukar, member, House of Representatives, said that the conference was apt as it intended to put a smile on the faces of women who might be struggling in the midst of happenings in the country.
She said that the National Assembly was working to ensure that women were well represented politically.
“We are hoping that the constitutional review that is ongoing will include 25 percent affirmative action for women in both elective and appointive positions so as to encourage more women participation in all activities,” she said.
The President of the forum, Mrs. Zainab Marwa, in a remark, said that the conference was targeted at encouraging women to remain positive in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic and gender violence issues.
According to her, 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and some may have lost so much in the situation.
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She said: “I just wanted to bring these women together to remind us that it doesn’t take much to make ourselves happy as long as we carry each other along.
“I wanted it to be an inter-generational dialogue that is why I brought in girls from our Aspire Girls Force from Garki Secondary School, Abuja as well as prominent female figures in the country.
“The take-home is that we know we can surmount anything that comes our way; we should also know that we can overcome any challenge that may stand in our way, especially if we are able to find our purpose in life.
“We must come together and unite our energies toward finding happiness in order to achieve our goals.”
She explained that the Happy Conference 2020 was created to foster dialogue among women of all ages as encouraged by the Beijing Platform for Action.
“The platform is where the older generation will share their financial, emotional, and spiritual route to discovering their purpose, with the younger participants,” she said.
NAN also reports that the annual Aspire Woman Magazine was launched at the event.
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Mrs Buhari urges women to aspire to greatness in spite of difficulties