In continuation of the HeforShe Advocacy campaign in appreciation of Male Gender Champions, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG has confered on the Chief of Defence Staff, General LEO Irabor, the “HeforShe” Award of Excellence in appreciation of his overwhelming support to women in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the recent launch of the Gender Policy for Armed Forces and other pro-gender policies since his assumption of Office.
In a press statement Signed by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Press and public Relations said the investiture event was held at the CDS Conference Hall at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday, 27th July, 2021
The Honourable Minister was accompanied to the event by a full complement of Women in high offices in the UN, ECOWAS, Civil Society Organizations, and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs’ Directors.
As well, the Directorate Heads of the Defence Headquarters of the Nigeria Armed Forces were in attendance to support their Defence Chief.
Dame Tallen assured the Armed Forces’ Chiefs and other ranks that as they go to battle against terrorists and bandits who wouldn’t give Nigerians peace, that Nigerian women comprising of the mothers, wives and sisters of the soldiers are fervently praying for God’s protection for the soldiers and their success on the battle field.
Dame Pauline Tallen in her remarks commended the HQ Nigerian Army for the unprecedented launch of the Gender Policy for the Armed Forces, as this has led to other security forces taking similar steps in launching their gender policy, most recently, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The Minister further stated that
“The Nigerian Military has reported low cases of issues around GBV across its forces, this is largely due to consistent campaigns by the Gender Desk Officers of the Armed Forces”.
She requested for the followings:
The “increase of women in the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), as female officers have proven over time to be outstanding, the representation of women in the security sector is quite low and inclusion is extremely important”.
“That the ‘Women in Uniform’ conference be an annual forum. It is a great platform to show the Nigerian Army’s stand for representation and inclusion of women at all facets of the Armed Forces”.
While responding, General Irabor expressed appreciation for the honour done him and responded further that he shares view of the Honourable Minister, that “women should be given opportunities to showcase themselves, beyond what we see.”
General Irabor disclosed that the ‘Women in Uniform’ conference has now been approved as an annual forum and “we will do everything to institutionalize it.”
“The Nigerian Army”, the CDS said has been able to factor women in facets across all training in the Military and will continue to fine-tune this. We believe that women must be supported, and I urge the Honourable Minister not to relent, we recognize the centrality of women and their values, which is why this support and push is extremely important.”
“As a New HeForShe Advocate, I will do all in my power to push further its objectives, and let’s also note that in a bid to promote women in the Armed Forces, the Gender Adviser unit has been upgraded to a Directory.”
The Chief of Defence Staff concluded the engagement by also presenting awards to Ms Comfort Lamptey and the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Taline for their consistent advocacy for women rights in Nigeria”.