I specifically want to commend and congratulate UN Women, the Norwegian Embassy and International Alert Nigeria on the launch of this women, peace and security (WPS) in Nigeria website and for their continuous support and efforts to promote the inclusion of women in peace processes, address global security challenges and to increase the proportion of women mediators in Nigeria.
The launch of this website signifies another milestone in the sector and is commendable even as the world commemorate the year 2020 Peace Day.
Conflict brings with it terrible human rights consequences for all involved, children women and men. The impact of conflict on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of women, in particular is often devastating.
As we are all aware, women, girls and children are usually the most affected by violent conflicts but yet are largely excluded from peace building and conflict processes due to factors like patriarchy, ignorance and other socio-cultural impediments.
Women’s interests have long been neglected in the peace process, which has resulted in male-centered approaches to peace and security.
The process of ensuring increased women’ s involvement in governance, power and decision making is still work in progress, even though there have been significant gains over the past two decades. Nigerian women constitute about half of the population of the country.
But despite their numerical strength and active participation as campaign agents, mobilizers and most faithful voters at every election, they have always faced challenges and resistance when efforts were made by them to participate in politics or to be politically empowered.
Today’s event though symbolic will no doubt further stimulate the necessary visibility for women’s effective participation in peace and security agenda processes and encouraged best practices among stakeholders involved in the sector.
As you are aware, the Ministry over the years have provided and will continue to perform it oversight and coordination role for effective implementation of the National Action Plan, UNSCR 1325 (NAP) in Nigeria.
I therefore wish to on this note, call for all hands to be on deck. So that, with this launch, there would be a more visible attention and support for women’s roles in conflict prevention and resolution enhanced.