From Gyang Bere, Jos
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Plateau State, has advocated for the inclusion of women in conflict resolution and peace building for peaceful co-existence in Ta-hoss community in Riyom Local Government Area of the state.
The State Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs Obioms Achilefu, made the call on Thursday at the project inception meeting, titled “Promoting the inclusion of women in peace building and conflict mitigation”.
According to her, the project is done in partnership with Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada to promote the inclusion of women in peace building in communities ravaged by crisis in Plateau State.
“This project affirms that women in conflict-ridden communities posses important strategic insights and competency for addressing security challenges affecting them and their communities,” she stated.
“Women are active agents of peace in armed conflict, unfortunately their role as key players and change agents of peace has been largely unrecognized which is the reason we are demanding for total inclusion.
“Including the gender which is most affected by violent conflict would greatly help in identifying how much of a change it will bring to minimising violent conflicts in communities,” she said.
She appreciated the Plateau communities for keying into women inclusion in peace building processes.
A resident of Ta-hoss community, Mrs Sabina Dachung, lamented on the increased insecurity in the area stating that raping of women and girls on farmlands was on the increase.
Dachung called on government to intensify its efforts towards reducing armed conflicts in the area stating that it has affected their sources of livelihood.
The Chairman of Riyom Local Government Area, Hon Mafeng Gwallson, said that the local government would support the project owing that women played an important role in mitigating conflicts.
Gwallson, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Pam Nyango, said the local government would increase women inclusion and ensure that the project was sustained.
He said that they would also ensure that the project was expanded to include Fulani women in the mitigation of violent conflicts in local communities.
A resident of the area, Victoria Bitrus who spoke also complaint bitterly over the persistent cases of rape by suspected herdsmen in the community.
She noted that women are raped in the farm by Fulani herdsmen particularly teenage girls and solicited for help on how to stem the menace.
Rita A Lasoju, Programme Officer, FIDA Nigeria, said that the project seeks to restore trust and confidence among the people and the security agencies to find a common ground for peaceful co-existence.