The role of women in nation building cannot be quantified. Women over the years have been contributing their quota in helping to maintain peace and manage conflict within their immediate environment and the nations at large.
Women across the world, Africa and Nigeria inclusive have contributed positively to the progress of humanity in politics, economic, security and otherwise by playing leading role in the development and progress of nations.
In treading the path heroines, the Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment (WAELE) hosted about 45 African countries in a training to set the agenda for peace, conflict management and mediation on the African continent.
The founder, WAELE, Dr Basirat Nahibi-Niasse at a three-day meeting and training workshop convened by (WAELE/ARCELFA) said, they seek to address the various conflicts facing the continent by empowering women, who are the most affected, to build peace in their communities using conflict management and mediation strategies.
Dr Nahibi-Niasse said Africa is in need of mediators and peacekeepers adding that our continent is engulfed in inter-religious, ethnic and tribal conflicts and women are proven to be the most effective agents for Peace building which necessitate their continuous investment in building the capacities of WAELE Africa women.
“We have called on African leaders to deliberate on peace building and conflict resolution across the nation.”
Addressing the women at the meeting, Dr Nahibi-Niasse said in the last decade and a half, since the formation of WAELE, they have collectively struggle to overcome daunting odds that could have exhausted the endurance of the most incurable optimists, adding that with courage among the members they continue to boldly embark on selfless endeavour to become champions of global peace and relentless advocates for total emancipation of women across Africa.
“We have invested our valuable time, precious material and scarce financial resources to promote the cause of peace by empowering women and displaced families in areas devastated by incessant wars, violence and communal conflicts.”
Dr Nahibi-Niasse added that having been into many empowerment programmes for widows and women, they are poised to open their continental headquarter in Abuja and five regional offices across Africa to be able to attend to the plight of women.
She also said that part of the empowerment is to equip and train African women in crisis region such as Nigerian, Sudan, Central Africa and other region of conflict in peace mediation so that they can go back to their countries to train others.
“WAELE in the last decade had been able to empower Nigerian women in Benue, Adamawa, Enugu, Cross River and Lagos for conflict mediation and management. We also talk about widow’s financial empowerment which we have been giving to widows in Nigeria and other African countries. This is necessary because being a widow; you need to feed your family and yourself. When you lose your husband, it isn’t an easy position to be in.”
A Member in council of Women in Egypt, Dr Naha Ghanem said, WAELE has been a strong body standing for women across Africa in the areas of empowerment and peace building.
She called on women across Africa to stand as one body to work towards peace and nation building adding that women as nation builders should endeavour to cultivate the habit of peaceful resolution in their environment and managing conflict in a manner that will calm situation and not aggravate it.
In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, WAELE resolved to support the widows, construct boreholes and water treatment plants, specialist hospitals and vocational training centre in all the 52 countries where it is present including the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“A microfinance Bank for the Organisation would also commence operations at the Abuja Headquarters. To give voice to the voiceless, the President concluded that a radio/television for WAELE, first of its kind, would soon commence operations from Namibia.