First Lady Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has warned against gender stereotypes against women in uniform, describing such a practice “psychological oppression” that could lead to potential threat to their advancement in the military.
She gave the warning in Abuja while formally unveiling the Gender Policy for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (GPAFN) to promote gender mainstreaming in the nation’s armed forces.
Mrs Buhari, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Dr Hajo Sani, said the security issues bedeviling the country still abound because Nigerians were yet to redefine the military to explore the potentials of women for operational effectiveness.
According to her, there are a good number of reported cases where women were prevented from participating in combat duties, excluding pregnancy or maternity.
“Women are often restricted to careers within the supportive aspect of the military such as finance, human resource, personnel, logistics, medical services, welfare etc. I enjoin the military women to continuously take note of this and vehement exception to such psychological oppression with the formulation of this policy.
“The security issues bedevilling our Country Nigeria still abound probably because we are yet to redefine the Armed Forces of Nigeria to explore the potentials of women for operational effectiveness. Women possess the traits of patience, perseverance and passion. Because of the emotional buildup of women, we possess the tendency to transmit the same spirit to any task,” she said.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the complexity and dynamism of the spectrum of security challenges facing the world required that all useful approaches and means be employed to combat the menace emanating therefrom.
Irabor said it was the realisation that gender disparity contributed in no small measure to the suffering of women and girls in any environment that birthed the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.