The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), unanimously adopted in October 2000, stressed the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.
This resolution, with its four pillars of prevention, participation, protection and peacebuilding and recovery, has become the focal point for galvanizing worldwide efforts to deal with the many challenges that women face in situations of conflict. In the years since, eleven additional resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) have been adopted.
That created a robust framework for implementing the WPS agenda and reinforced global commitments, treaties and conventions on women’s rights, including the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. To deliver these commitments at the national level, the United Nations has encouraged Member States to adopt National Action Plans (NAPs) on WPS to implement the resolutions and monitor the progress of the WPS agenda. As of September 2019, 82 countries have adopted NAPs-WPS.
In order to contribute to an increase in women’s access to and participation in peace mediation and negotiation in Nigeria, women’s capacity in mediation and negotiation skills needs to be improved and extended to all areas of work, including security sector reform, financing and power-sharing. The impact of conflict on women and their role in peace processes need to be better exposed and reflected on; and the implementation of various policies related to Women, Peace and Security needs to be accelerated and monitored. A comprehensive response from all stakeholders is necessary to ensure gains made are not reversed.
The Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs adopted its NAP in 2013 and launched a second edition in 2017 with the support of Nigerian Stability Reconciliation Programme (NSRP), the European Union and UN Women. The second edition addresses the key issues of violent extremism, post-conflict and reintegration challenges, crisis management and recovery as well as monitoring and evaluation. As at September 2019, 11 States have adopted a State Action Plan (SAP); while Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau States have begun adopting Local Action Plans (LAPs) at grassroots level. SAP provides a guide for state and non-state actors on gender mainstreaming and gender-sensitive approaches to peacebuilding and security processes. Bauchi State is at its final phase of developing its SAP.
As a build-up to its support to the government of Nigeria to meet its commitments on UNSCR 1325, UN Women is implementing a 2-year programme on WPS, in partnership with International Alert, and with funding support from the Government of Norway. The initiative is designed to achieve the broad goal of gender-inclusive and sustainable peace in Nigeria through:
• Increased women’s effective participation in peace and security processes, peace negotiations, conflict prevention and resolution.
• Improved public perception on the role of women in peace and security, at all levels through opportunities for engagement and dialogue.