By Frederick Peters, KADUNA

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Interfaith Forum of Muslim and Christian Women’s Association a.k.a Women’s Interfaith Council (WIC) celebrated the 2022 international Women’s Day in grand Style by honoring 3 iconic women politicians in Kaduna state

WIC also earmarked the day for its annual interfaith solidarity prayers for peace in the state and Nigeria, as part of the activities for the celebraration of the International Women’s Day with the theme ” Gender equality today for sustainable tommorrow #breakthebias, #promote Women’s participation in political leadership which held on thursday in Kaduna.

Speaking to Journalists, the Executive Director, Rev. Sr. Veronica Onyeanisi, OLA, said ” we are here as Muslims and Christians to celebrate our annual interfaith solidarity prayer and pray for peace in our country and for good governance that supports women in political leadership. This year is different because we joined the prayer with the celebration of the International Women’s Day”

The awardees at the events

She further expressed that it’s not just celebrating the Women’s Day, we have singled out women that have assuaged all odds and challenges in political leadership to appreciate them through the awards, thus encouraging women to come out, that if these awardees could represent us well, they too can”

According to her, the award recipients have mentored many women in politics, because we need women to be in politics, to be in leadership, noting however, that women have not been finding it easy financially and otherwise hence the creating of awareness across the array of Religious, traditional and political leaders in attendance to support the participation of women in politics in all ramifications.

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” we are creating awareness that they should break the bias and support women as we are beginning the processing of political elections in 2023, that they should support women to come out, because we need to work together as women of faith to move our country forward, adding that, like the men, God has given women that talent as mothers to play a very important role in leadership” so they should be recognized and supported” she reiterated

She further noted the women were motivated to be fully involved in future elections, starting with having a voter’s card “many of them don’t have, because they have been discouraged in the past but we are encouraging them to register for their voter’s card and join political parties as members; we’ll keep on having workshops and trainings to keep on empowering women on the need of going into leadership” she said

One of the awardees, Kaduna state Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Hafsat Mohammad Baba, in her address appreciated the recognition bestowed on her while praying for the political leaders, women and people with disabilities, hinted on her political life over decades, especially her 12 years of been in the opposition parties prior to the emergance of APC

According to her, she contested twice and lost “but that should not make us, women to relent in our efforts, adding that if ” women don’t contest or go into elective and appointing positions, we don’t have the right to criticize, whichever party we belong to, let us come together and move the country forward” she added

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On her part, Hon Comfort Anwe, member Representing Sanga constituency, KSHA called on women to rise above board owing to the fact that women are” seriously lacking behind in terms of political offices, both elective and appointing; we cannot have good governance without being part of government, adding that, decisions that are not made with women, cannot touch on women issues, hence, her call for them to join political parties to have opportunity to seek elective positions

According to her, if there were more women in National assembly the rejection of the gender bills would not have been possible.” So if women join politics and contest and happen to win a lot of things would change” On her political experience over the years, ” , I keep saying time without number that ” if other women out there can make it I comfort Anwe can do it,

” it not a matter of size, but it’s a matter of the mind, if you are confident of yourself and you say I will do it without turning your back , l started with chairmanship, served for 3 years and left a legacy, while pointing out that every aspiring woman needs to work harder to maintain her legacy, ” we need to lay down our legacy very clear for everyone to see” which could be a source of support for any woman coming after

On her part, , a onetime member Kaduna state House of Assembly and Federal House of representatives Member, Hon Hon Florence Aya, commended the organizers and the honour done her and further encouraged women to participate actively in the political process

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According to her, the political journey has been challenging but appreciated the support of her husband’s kinsmen and Constituents for accepting and believing in her as one of their own, without which it would been practically difficult to have achieved her political feats from the State to National among others

Similarly, one of the traditional leaders, Mallam Yusuf Tanko, wakilin matasan Hayin banki, and a representive of both the Muslim and Christian youths, described the program as enlightening ” this is my first time of coming to a program by WIC and I really appreciate coming and i really thank them for their support for women and the enlightenment on their rights and support

” this shows that WIC is doing alot for Nigerian women, i hereby call on the men to allow their women to go into politics and achieve their goals in life without any discrimination and bias’ he stated

Lending her vioce, on the need for active participation, Hajia Daharatu Aliyu, , Muslim coordinator, called on women ” to come out and become part of problem solving, because we cannot leave it to the men alone, adding that ” as a mother as a woman we have a lot to do and we are supposed to start from home, so that is why we always come together to share and encourage ourselves”

She further appealed to National Assembly to ratify the the gender bills and grant women the 35% affirmative action, “so that we can be part of everything because we can do it better and better,” she stressed

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