By Ruth Oketunde
The AU Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC, Nigeria) called on the federal government to recognize and prioritize women in the process of mediating and resolving peace to end insecurity in the country.
Ms. Adaora Onyechere, Head of Women’s Affairs and Gender Cluster Committee, UA-ECOSOCC, said this during a briefing to reporters in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the theme of the event is: “Insecurity in Nigeria: The Role of Nigerian Women in Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Mediation”.
Onyechere, who spoke on the topic: “Women as bearers of the burden of insecurity,” said women should be involved in all conversations that promote mediation and peace resolution.
She said it was important to involve women, as they were the main and unique people facing war, community crises, banditry and terrorism.
According to her, African leaders need to communicate more effectively using the voice of their women and also have the political will to also listen to the advice of their women as peacebuilders.
“It is important to note that the number of women widowed following the death of a spouse who died while in service or while fighting terrorism has increased.
“The number of families whose children have been killed and left childless by accidental bullets or collateral damage has also increased.
“We also call on young people to also understand that their voice is more powerful than the ball and that they should apply reason in their thinking about dialogue.
“Dialogue is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, a sign of intentional, strong communication of the things that matter so that there can be resolutions and not reactions for and from both parties involved. “she said.
Dr Tunji Asaolu, representative of Nigeria to AU-ECOSOCC, said the UN, all governments and civil society organizations must encourage and support women to develop their role in post-conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities.
He recommended that women be supported and their organizations strengthened in peacebuilding efforts by providing them with adequate and sustained financial and technical support.
He called for an end to impunity and for ensuring redress for crimes committed against women in violent conflict, for the enforcement and prosecution of perpetrators implicated in rape as war crimes, among others.
Likewise, the Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Ms. Pauline Tallen, said that it is in the power of women to fight and reverse the current trends of violence in the country.
The Minister was represented by Ms. Funke Oladipo, Gender Director of the Ministry at the event.
“This is primarily in recognition of the innate capacities of management, negotiation and reconciliation that women possess, often observed in their daily peace mediation at home and within communities,” she said.
The event brought together representatives of UN Women, the Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Miyetti Allah, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (IFAD), among others. . (NAA)