The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Al-Hassan, has called for recognition in Nigeria of the pivotal role of women in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.
Mrs. Alhassan made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the revised National Action Plan for the Implementation of the United Nation Security Council Resolution, UNSCR 1325, and Related Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in Nigeria.
The event was held at the Banquet Hall of Presidential Villa, Abuja.
UNSCR 1325 was the first official and lawful global document to acknowledge the lopsided and heavier toll that war and conflict have on women and girls in Nigeria.
The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs And Social Development developed the revised National Action Plan in partnership with the United Nation Security Council, UNSC.
According to Mrs. Al-Hassan, in spite of women’s proven natural reconciliation and stabilizing roles in the family, they have continued to be excluded from meaningful participation in peace processes.
“The UNSC had adopted Resolution 1325 13 years ago, acknowledging the underrepresentation of women in peace processes and calling on member states to take action to rectify the issues.
“The resolution also acknowledged the disproportionate impact of violence on women especially in conflict contexts,” she said.
Nigeria came on board in August of 2013 by launching the first National Action Plan to domesticate UNSCR 1325 with the support of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) and UN Women.
Eight NSRP-supported states domesticated the NAP in Nigeria. They are Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Rivers and Yobe states.
“The first NAP had gaps and did not take care of emerging issues like the insurgency, violent extremism, among others, there was therefore very urgent need to have the NAP revised”, the minister said.
“Insecurity and transnational border crimes, gender, responsive inclusion in peace architecture, violence against women, girls, children and communal crises are the major peace concerns of women. These, she said have been captured in the second NAP”, she added.
The minister called on Nigerians to support government in actualizing gender balance into policies, programmes and organisations in Nigeria through the national gender policy.
In attendance at the launching were the wives of state governors represented by wife of Bauchi State governor, Hadiza Abubakar; the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; diplomats; traditional leaders and representative of the Kaduna State governor.
The representative of the Kaduna State governor, Hafsat Baba, said women affairs are of apex importance especially in driving matters in the society.
“Our women are indeed an embodiment of all virtues and this is the right time for our inclusion in leadership, conflict resolution and important decision making.
“The UNSCR 1325 is one sure platform that aids this process. I join the Hon. Minister to challenge all relevant stakeholders in our nation’s women and social development matters to rally round and ensure total and smart implementation of this action plan.
“At such challenging times, Nigeria is in dire need for restructuring of her social safety net and revising of our National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 is a single most important step towards achieving that”.
The governor spoke on the efforts put in place by the Kaduna State government in strengthening resolve of the UNSCR 1325.
“In recognition of the importance of women inclusion in peace building processes, addressing violence against women and girls and ensuring peace and security operations, policies and programmes through integration of gender perspectives, Kaduna State launched its State Action Plan on women, peace and security (SAP Resolution 1325) in December 2016 with the support of NSRP towards achieving the programmes on women and girls at state level.
“The State action plan was included in the State Implementation Plan (a three-year plan) and captured in the 2017 Kaduna State Budget.
“There is going to be an inauguration of the tracking committee of the Kaduna State Action Plan at the Women Economic Empowerment Summit”, the governor disclosed.
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