By Angela Atabo
The West Africa Network for Peace-Building (WANEP), says women’s involvement in peace-building and security is necessary in Nigeria as conflicts resolution is collective responsibility.
WANEP National Coordinator, Mrs Bridget Osakwe said this at a Media Round-table on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and Women in Peace and Society (WPS) in Abuja on Monday.
Osakwe said although Nigeria adopted UNSCR 1325 resolution which reaffirms the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace building among others, its implementation has been slow.
She said involvement of women in peace and security building is necessary for a balanced outcome because they are the most hit in crisis situations.
She said women are good in mediation as they could negotiate at all levels from grassroots to national level.
“Nigeria developed a National Action Plan (NAP) which includes training of women and girls as mediators, negotiators and conciliators in conflicts and post conflict situations and enhance their participation at all levels of peace process etc.
“So we decided to carry the media along by training journalists, we have also encouraged every media house to amplify the voices of women in peace processes.
“Yes women and girls are worst hit in conflict situation but they also have the capacity to contribute to peace.
“So the media round table is held to appreciate journalists and media organisations that have been promoting issues of women peace and security.’’
According to Osakwe, the event has come at a time when it is important for Nigerians to raise their voices and amplify women voices in peace and security.
She said the crisis in Zamfara has been ongoing while men and women are experiencing the same thing; it is the women that stood up to protest by calling for peace.
She said women when given the opportunity could play positive role in issues of peace and security in Nigeria and bring about lasting solutions.
She called on men and boys to be allies of women in building peace in every community in Nigeria.
She said although the principal role of governance is securing the citizens, the citizens could also play complimentary role to aid government in achieving peace in their communities.
Osakwe said women could mobilise themselves, they could contribute to dialogue like in other climes and could also mobilise at the grassroots which would culminate in stable society.
She said women could also talk to their children and husbands that they want peace in their communities thus achieving peace by talking to one another.
Mr Senator Iroegbu, WANEP Media Consultant, said the role of women in peace building could not be overemphasised adding that they have been playing such roles since historic times.
Iroegbu cited examples of women in history such as Queen Amina of Zaria, Moreme, and Mrs Ransom Kuti who contributed in various ways.
He urged the media to help in championing the course of women’s involvement in peace and security building in the nation through an effective media strategy on implementation of UNSCR 1325.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three journalists -Ms Joy Yesufu, Leadership newspapers, Ail Garba, New Telegram and Josephine Ejeh, Smartgist24 newsblog were honoured for promoting women voices at the event.