The First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan has commended Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s commitment to improving the lots of women, through her NGOs, A. Aruera Reachout Foundation and “Women for Change and Development Initiative”.
She acknowledged her advocacy for the inclusion of women in governance and mobilizing support for the implementation of 35% affirmative action.
She spoke in Beijing, China when she met with her Nigerian counterpart, Patience Jonathan on the sideline of the bilateral talks between Nigeria and China as part of the Five-Day State visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to that country.
The First Lady of China noted with satisfaction her efforts towards poverty alleviation, gender equality and women empowerment.
Madam Peng Liyuan noted with happiness, the excellent relations between China and Nigeria and expressed optimism, that the visit will further enhance the opportunities for mutual cooperation between the two First Ladies.
She informed Mrs. Jonathan about her appointment as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador and her readiness to work with Nigeria in achieving the zero-target of HIV transmission in the world.
Nigeria’s First Lady, in her response restated her commitment to ensuring effective participation of women in the socio-economic and political sphere in the country explaining her various programmes geared towards improving the lots of women, especially those targeted at strengthening the capacity of women economically and politically.
She informed Madam Peng Liyuan of the vision of her NGO, “A.Aruera Reachout Foundation”, which has trained about 4,000 men and women in various skills and vocations to make them self-reliant and help contribute to national development.
She also described the A. Aruera Reachout Foundation as a twin organization to the “Women for Change and Development Initiative”, her other NGO, which seeks to empower women economically, socially and politically.
The First Lady noted that through the advocacy of the NGO, Nigeria for the first time has more women in elective and appointive positions, emphasizing her conviction that when women and youths are educated, economically empowered and their voices are heard, they can contribute much more to the development of their societies.
Dame Jonathan recalled the 10th World Conference on women which held in China in 1996, and expressed happiness that Nigeria can today boast of admirable percentage of implementation of the action plan agreed at the meeting.
She also briefed her host on the activities of the African First Ladies Peace Mission and the efforts to bring succor to victims of violent conflicts in parts of Africa. Relief materials she said have been sent to the affected persons, particularly women and children in Congo, Mali and Kenya stating that plans are underway to extend this gesture to other conflict prone areas.
Wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Amina Ibrahim and the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-governmental Affairs, Maryam Ali attended the meeting.