President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged by the Federal Capital Territory Women, Peace and Security Network, WPSN, to leverage on the United Nations Security Resolution, UNSCR, 1325 and increase the number of women that would be serving in his administration.
The Women Peace and Security Network, is a network supported by the Nigerian Stability and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP, and composed of over 30 non-governmental organisations working in the area of Women, Peace and Security.
The objectives of the WSPN is to increase more influential participation by women and girls in institutions and initiatives relevant to peace building, as well as to reduce the prevalence and impact of violence against women and girls.
The WSPN in a statement said the new government must leverage on the UNSCR 1325 which underscores the importance of increasing women’s participation in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.
“Nigeria has domesticated UNSCR 1325 by coming up with the National Action Plan (NAP) 1325. Our role as WPSN is also to support the implementation and monitoring of NAP 1325 .Against this backdrop, WPSN wishes to stress the need for the new government to increase the number of women involved in Government in general and in peace and security processes generally,” WSPN said in the statement.
The WSPN said this inclusion involves giving women equal opportunities. It said the reduced number of women in the eighth national assembly from 24 to 15 and eight to seven in the House of Representatives and senate respectively is worrisome.
The network said the appointment of competent women into key decision making positions would constitute a positive signal for women who constitute nearly 50 per cent of the Nigerian population.
It said, “Available records and history have also shown that women are capable of contributing efficiently and meaningfully to the economic, social and the political development of the country. Looking at women’s rights, peace and security is not only important in itself, but also is essential for preventing violence in Nigeria and ensuring meaningful and sustainable peace for all.”
WSPN said the national Gender Policy which has set a target of 35 per cent as a benchmark towards gender parity in Nigeria indicates that muck work is needed for women inclusion in Nigeria.
It also said that since gender-based exclusion and marginalization are indicators of the likelihood of violent conflict.
“We look forward to the implementation of the VAPP act as a precursor of ending the cultural impediments that stand in the way of women’s participation in decision making,” the network said.
In addition, NSRP will also deliver a one-day media round table on the National Action Plan for NSRP media partners and other media outlets in Abuja.
The roundtable, NSRP said is expected to secure the support of professional journalists in reporting activities around the participation of women in peace building processes, especially as it relates with the Women Peace and Security Network.
The forum will hold on June 23 at the Chelsea Hotel, Central Business District Abuja.