Some group of Nigerian women on Monday canvassed for gender inclusion in conflict management and peace processes in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by Norwegian Embassy in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), and the UN Women.
The event had the theme ”Stakeholder Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security: Women’s roles in conflict prevention and resolution in Nigeria”.
Mrs Marita Sorheim-Rensvik, Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs said women inclusion in conflict prevention and resolution was crucial in gender equality.
Sorheim-Rensvik said women in Nigeria pay dearly in conflict situations, adding that 80 per cent of affected persons in the insurgency affected North East are women.
Speaking also, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that women inclusion would help in enhancing the peace process.
She added that Nigeria remains one of the major contributors to the African peace processes, stressing that 20 per cent of women had been included as peace keeping troops.
Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minster of Women Affairs, said that conflict is not about who was involved, but the people that are affected which are the women and children.
“People on ground are not really feeling the impact of the peace intervention when gender is not equated.
“Women are powerful in the areas of agencies, influences that will enhance the peace processes and they must be heard.
“How many people knew what women in South Africa achieved during the peace intervention? We need more women in the peace process.
“We are stuck with the illusion that the military have the solution but the irony is that we women have the solutions,’’ she said.
Tallen, who was represented by Mr Ojushola Moshola, added that in conflict and peace process there must be a paradigm shift, where peace actors are not looked at as professionals only.
Dr Bakut Bakut, Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), said that the institute mandate for peace and resolution covers the whole of Africa.
He also said that the institute encourages partnership with agencies, embassies and civil societies.
Bakut added that conflict generally affects everybody but has more impact on women, and the quest for peace has created a gender gap.
“Globally Nigeria should be applauded for being the one that has actually made impact so far.
“We have eleven states so far not only implementing and it does not mean we are not doing anything compared to other countries; other countries have not gotten the action plan.
“We have done the first phase and we are on the second phase, and I can assure you that with the programme we have seen now and the engagement we are having by next year you are going to see more.
“I can assure you that we are not doing bad, yes indeed, there’s more to be done particularly in-terms of the global role, but the key issue is.
“It means that we have to intensify more efforts; we are defiantly going to get more women particularly younger women to engage in peace building.
“When they engage on peace building we will be able to leverage on what we already have and expand on the advantage we have,’’ he said. (NAN)