The African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on Thursday lauded African rural women for their resilience in the face of COVID-19, and called for more support to hasten the recovery of rural economies and livelihoods.
The African first ladies made this known in a statement by Dr. Mairo Almakura, Special Assistant to the President on AFLPM, in Abuja in commemoration of the 2020 International Day of Rural Women.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s celebration was with the theme: “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”.
According to her, the Mission equally solicited global support to African governments in their relentless efforts to end insurgency on the continent.
They noted that insurgency had taken its tolls on the welfare and livelihoods of the rural communities, especially women, girls, and children.
“On the occasion of the 2020 International Day for Rural Women, the African First Ladies Peace Mission salutes the resilience of the African rural women, especially in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for the socio-economic empowerment of the rural women, which the AFLPM has always joined the United Nations and other stakeholders to advocate.
“In spite of being seriously disadvantaged in access to land, agricultural assets and credits, education, market, and despite the yawning gender pay gap.
“African rural women and girls have continued to showcase their resilience in the sustenance of their families and provision of care during this challenging period.
“The AFLPM believes that the continent can build back better from the rubbles of the pandemic by strengthening rural women’s sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing.
“Therefore, AFLPM calls on African governments to give more support to our rural women and girls to continue to contribute more to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience”, the statement read.
On the challenges posed by insurgency and conflicts to rural women and livelihoods, AFLPM called on the global community to rally behind Africa to overcome the challenge of insurgency, which has gravely affected the rural women and their livelihoods.
“Insurgents attack mainly the rural communities of the Lake Chad region and women and girls suffer abduction or rape or even get killed.
“The insurgency by Boko Haram and its splinter groups affects more than 17 million people in the Lake Chad region alone, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“Also, more than 2.2 million people have been displaced, most of them women and children.
“Insurgency leaves the farms fallow and underutilised as even those not yet displaced are scared to venture into the farmlands.
“So, this is a problem the world must make haste to address this more aggressively”.
The African First Ladies wished the rural women a happy Rural Women Day, pledging to continue to lend their support. (NAN)