By Naomi Yakawich
Her Excellency Hajiya Amina Sambo, wife of the former Nigerian Vice President, called on women to add their voice to peacebuilding efforts in Nigeria at the inaugural meeting of Global Peace Women (GPW) Nigeria. The meeting, held in Kaduna on March 21, brought together over twenty leaders, emphasizing the crucial and irreplaceable role that women play in peacebuilding.
Mrs. Sambo, a member of GPW’s International Advisory Council, introduced the women’s division of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) at the launch. GPW seeks to empower families and transform communities through women-led initiatives, drawing on the strength of women as natural peacemakers in the home and community. Women have unique, innate qualities as sisters, daughters, wives and mothers to facilitate collaboration, create warm, loving environments and foster a culture of service.
These leadership qualities are especially relevant in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, which continues to face rising religious tensions that have resulted in violence, death and destruction of property. Mrs. Sambo described women as leaders who are “more sensitive to the well-being of others” who can foster collaboration through compassion and possess a temperament that makes peace not only achievable, but also sustainable.
Director of GPF Nigeria, John Oko, who participated in the inaugural meeting, noted the importance of these unique attributes of women and their crucial leadership role in building peace in the family as basis of healthy societies, nations, and a prosperous and ethical world.
Highlighting the theme of cooperation beyond barriers of religion and culture, the GPW meeting also included interfaith leaders who spearhead the One Family under God campaign to quell tensions in Southern Kaduna state. Local news outlets captured the words of support from Rev. John Joseph Hayab who underscored the power of women in “circulating and promoting positive messages to a wider audience.” Sheikh Halliru Abdullahi Maraya agreed and thanked GPW for supporting women by acknowledging the value of femininity and the education and advocacy initiatives to follow that will contribute to developing healthy families and societies.
At the meeting, women leaders developed plans to participate in the progression of the One Family under God Campaign, which continues to gain momentum in Nigeria. GPW Nigeria plans to contribute to the interfaith peacebuilding efforts in Kaduna state through women-led initiatives advancing collaboration and promoting healthy relationships. By fostering these qualities Global Peace Women affirms the motto, “Peace begins in the Home,” showing that positive women leadership on every level of society, especially the family, can change communities, nations and the world.