From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
Wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari has decried poor representation of women in formal peace and security processes despite the efforts of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM).
She spoke at a luncheon tagged “Accelerating Women, Peace and Security in Africa within the SDG Agenda” at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, organized by AFLPM. Represented by Dr. Mairo Al-Makura, Special Assistant to the President, Mrs Buhari noted that women have distinguished themselves with achievements in every field of human endeavour that paved the way for more equality, solidarity and inclusion at the local, national and global levels.
She stressed that the organisation must continue to build on these successes in the months and years to come. She added further that women can achieve incredible change, conflict transformation and sustainable peace if they continue supporting and advocating for more inclusion and participation of women and in particular young women as equal partners in society with leadership and decision-making roles in Africa and across the globe. She recalled that it was to remedy the poor representation of women in peace and conflicts processes that the UN Security Council since October 2000 to adopt nine Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions, which aim to strengthen women’s participation, protection, and rights in conflict prevention and resolution processes. “These resolutions include UNSCR 1325 (2000); 1820 (2009); 1888 (2009); 1889 (2010); 1960 (2011); 2106 (2013); 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015) and 2467 (2019)). In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly also adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda, including stand-alone goals on gender equality (SDG5) and peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16).
“However, resolutions to push through the WPS and SDG agenda do not reflect the reality on the ground in Africa as peace continues to elude the continent with little improvement in poverty reduction, transparency and accountability, good governance nor institutional capacity. In a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on women and girls, the pandemic has largely exacerbated women’s needs and governments are struggling to address inequalities and protecting the victims of domestic violence.”
In her goodwill message, the First Lady of the Republic of Gambia, Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people of the world enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030 strike a cord in every woman on the African continent in that, put together, they address issues that affect women and the girl child.
According to her, “In particular, Goal 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and Goal 16, which seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels level hold great for the African woman and girl child.