It has been identified by the local, national and international social commentators and donor agencies that conflicts have placed tremendous burden on Nigerian communities whereby women and children suffer displacement, loss of families and means of livelihoods.
Speaking at a launch of women peace and security in Bauchi State, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Udoma Udoma pointed out that if investment in women and girls are not given Priority to fulfill their potentials and enjoy their human rights in Nigeria communities, it will translate into economic loss and foregone opportunities for growth and development.
Senator Udoma said, Government was willing to support any intervention that seeks to address women peace and security as one of the basis to achieve the objective of economic recovery and growth plan of government 2017-2020. Adding that government has set out investment plans for women and girls by prioritising education for girls. ”As we are aware, women, peace and security project was designed as an international policy framework to strengthen women’s participation, protection and rights in conflict prevention through post conflict reconstruction process in conflict communities and non conflicts areas”.
He said, the launch of the program was important because it will increase stakeholders understanding and support for the initiative in order to have strong partnership for the attainment of sustainable peace development in the state.
On her part, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Bauchi State, Mrs. Rukkaya Kewa stated that women suffers various forms of sexual abuse and gender based violence during conflict and aftermath of the conflict. Kewa said that despite the challenges, women in Nigeria continue to be poorly represented in formal peace process saying such exclusion largely attributed to discrimination practices which lead to failure to adequately address women’s concerns such as women right and post conflict accountability as well as sustainable peace and security.
She said, ”it is important to recognise the capacity of women in promoting peace and resolving conflict. Women presence, voices experience must be inclusive in critical policies and programmes that concern peace and security.
According to her women should also participate actively in peace and security process, peace negotiation, conflict prevention and resolution and to provide strategy for new direction. She said the program is designed to achieve the broad goal of gender inclusiveness and sustainable peace in Nigeria which it would be implemented in Bauchi and Benue states for the next two years and sponsored by the Norwegian Government.
Speaking at the Launch tue Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud said the key objective of launching the program in Bauchi state is to increase participation of women in peace and security processes in northern Nigeria. Mr. Kjemprud said Nigeria especially the north eastern states have over the years been ravaged by conflicts which affected women and their children hence there is the need for the voices to be amplify on issues that affects them most.
He said there is need for Bauchi state Government to implement the National Action Plan on women so that they would participate in bringing enduring peace in the society.
In her remarks, the UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria Mrs. Comfort Lamptey explained that 11 states in Nigeria have already domesticated the National Action Plan on women saying UN Women was there to launch it in Bauchi State that would last for two years. She added that the program would work on three issues to achieve the objective which include advocacy for the formulation of policies that are responsive to women’s security, building women’s capacity on conflict mediation and resolution and changing societal perception on the womenfolk.