Tuesday, August 9, 2022

#IWD2021: After six-month disappearance, Aisha Buhari ‘returns’ to champion women’s cause

Leaving the ignominy behind her, Mrs. Buhari, after months of disappearance, resurfaced on social media, to mark this year’s IWD.

• March 8, 2021
Buhari and Aisha
Buhari and Aisha used to illustrate the story

A victim of gender discrimination by her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady, has thrown her weight behind women and girls, calling for better treatment of the female gender as the world celebrates International Women’s Day.

Before a global audience, Mr. Buhari had disparaged Mrs. Buhari and reduced her role and intellectual capacity to the kitchen, doing the dishes and cooking. Further disparaging the first lady and reducing her to a sex object, Mr. Buhari had stated in 2016 before Germany’s leader, a woman, Angela Merkel, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to. But she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.”

Leaving the ignominy behind her, Mrs. Buhari, after months of disappearance, resurfaced on social media, to mark this year’s IWD.

In a statement shared on her Twitter page, she said, “The day offers yet another opportunity for humanity to review and reflect progress made on issues of women and girls. This year’s theme: ‘Women In Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World,’ is a strong call to appreciate the efforts of women and girls in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on women; disrupted education and careers, lost jobs, descent into poverty, and proliferation of domestic violence. Many have also died or suffered due to lack of access to basic information on the pandemic.”

Mrs. Buhari added, “It is, therefore, important, not just to continue spreading the message of the COVIb-19 protocol, but to remember and support those who have been affected negatively by the pandemic in one way or another.”

On the recent abductions in northern Nigeria, Mrs. Buhari noted, “Women and girls in Nigeria have continued to suffer abductions both in the hands of insurgents and bandits. As a mother, I share the sorrow and agony of the victims and their families.

“I am also not unaware of the impact that these abductions could have in reverting many successes we have hitherto achieved, especially in terms of girl-child education and early marriages.”

She further appealed to stakeholders to strengthen their efforts towards curbing the menace.

“I call on all stakeholders to continue to exert their different levels of influence and bring these abductions to an end, and to assure us that girls are safe anywhere they may find themselves,” she added.

Also, on her Instagram page, the first lady extolled the courage and resilience of Nigerian women.

Her whereabouts raised concerns as she disappeared from the public amid rumours she relocated to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, over health, domestic squabbles, and insecurity.

The Adamawa-born first lady left the country after one of her daughters, Hanan’s wedding in September 2020.

Her silence on social media followed that disappearance until Monday (today).

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