Beijing, China -- Nigeria's First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, was praised by her counterpart, China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, regarding her commitment to improving the lives of women through her NGOs, A. Aruera Reachout Foundation and "Women for Change and Development Initiative".
Lady Peng Liyuan acknowledged her advocacy for the inclusion of women in governance and mobilizing support for the implementation of 35% affirmative action.
The meeting of the two First Dames in Beijing was held on the sideline of the bilateral talks between Nigeria and China as part of the five-day State visit of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The First Lady of China noted with satisfaction the efforts of Dame Patience at poverty alleviation, gender equality and women empowerment.
Madam Peng Liyuan also mentioned 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 Dame Patience 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.
In her response, Dame Patience Jonathan restated her commitment to ensure effective participation of women in the socio-economic and political sphere in the country.
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.
The wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Hajia Amina Ibrahim and the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-governmental Affairs, Dr Maryam Ali, also attended the meeting.