Conflict Resolution, Peace Building: Why we need Women, Girls on the Table – Commissioner
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Barrister. Rebecca Sako-John, a Permanent Commissioner in the Kaduna State Peace Commission, said it has become imperative for women to be brought on the same table with their men counterparts in conflict resolution and peace building processes.
The Commissioner, noted that the chances of quick resolution in conflicts are very high in cases where women are allowed to exercise strong influence in negotiations.
Sako-John, who was the Resource Person at a one day Town Hall Meeting for Traditional and Religious Leaders on Inclusion of Women and Girls in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Processes, organized by the HeForShe Network in collaboration with the Kaduna State Ministry of Social Services and Human Development, with support from the UN Women, as part of activities to mark the 2022, 16 days of activism to End Violence against Women & Girls, said even though women and girls are the highest victims of conflicts but they are always thrown to the back seat when it’s time for peace building.
“Women are more vulnerable in conflict situations, targeted as war tactic. Victims of rape, kidnapping or abduction, terrorism, violent extremism. Women are active agents in conflict not just passive recipients.
“Women constitute half the large chunk of population and a repository of diverse information key for conflict, early warning and early response.
“Women are excluded in attendant peace talks after conflict issues affecting women are not sufficiently addressed in peace building, conflict prevention, mitigation or peace agreements suffer disproportionately during conflicts. She explained.
She added that Women are good peace makers, therefore bringing them to the table would be of immerse benefit to the entire process.
In her remarks, Hafsat Mohammed Baba,
the State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, who was represented by Haruna Khalifa, called on everyone to unite and come together and stand up against violence against women and girls to pull Nigeria closer to peace, justice and equality.
“Violence against women remains one of the most widespread human rights violations yet one of the least prosecuted crimes and this stems from a lack of investment and poor policy design and or implementation to meet women’s needs and protect their fundamental rights.
“Sexual violence remains rampant in times of both peace and conflict. Over 60 million girls are child brides and some 100 to 140 million girls and women have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting. More than 100 million girls are “missing due to prenatal sex selection and a preference for sons.
“We have often said that achieving gender equality requires an inclusive approach that recognizes men and boys as partners for women’s rights, protection, safeguarding and promotion for greater equality and that is why the HeForShe global movement was formed”. She said.
The interim State Coordinator of HeForShe, Emmanuel Bonnet, said bringing the Religious and Traditional leaders together at this time is important to sensitive them on the need to support the campaign to end violence against women and girls and also educate them on the issue of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law.
“At the end of the meeting, we are also hopeful that we will get more advocates into this network and we believe that the speed we want to achieve in terms of gender equality will be achieved”. He added.