The UN Women and other stakeholders have advocated for the partipation of more women in security issues, conflict prevention, peace building processes in the country.
The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Comfort Lamptey, made the call on Thursday at the first annual Security Sector Forum on Women in the Security Sector held in Abuja.
Ms. Lamptey said the conference, was part of events to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) on women, peace and security with a theme “Present Realities and Future Opportunities”.
According to her, the UNSCR1325 highlighted the critical role women play in peace processes and reconstruction not just as victims, but as key actors in efforts to restore peace during conflicts.
She noted the significant efforts of the government to implement the UNSCR1325 resolution through the development of the first and second National Action Plans (NAP) on women, peace and security agenda.
“I wish to emphasise the important role that young women in the security sector have to play in addressing and finding solutions to challenges”.
“It is important that they feel empowered to use their voice and are provided with the tools to grow into the leaders that will in charge of these institutions,” she said.
She, therefore, reiterated the commitment of the UN Women towards transforming the security sector to be inclusive, representative, efficient and ensures the empowerment and protection of all women and girls.
On her part, The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen said 13 states have domesticated the NAP on women, peace and security agenda, out of which 10 had already developed their State Action Plan.
Mrs. Tallen, therefore, appealed to the states to make budgetary allocation for the implementation, including localizing it at the grassroots level.
The minister said the ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders had formed a National Coordination Mechanism, established women peace and security network, signed the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill in 2015.
She added that the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill was also signed in some states and also contributed to Security Sector Reforms as parts of efforts to implement the UNSCR1325 agenda.
Mrs Aisha Buhari, represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Admin and Women Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Dr. Hajo Sani stressed the need to amplify women voices on issues bordering on security.
Mrs. Buhari, therefore, reiterated her support towards ensuring women play strategic role in peace, security and conflict resolution.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu said women play active role in conflict and peace building processes, as well as provide for their families and are active in the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
Mr. Ojukwu, who was represented by a Director in the commission, Mr Harry Ogwuche-Obe, stressed the need to amplify the contribution women make in countering violent conflicts and peace processes inline with the UNSCR1325 resolutions.