UN, Norway blame Nigerian conflicts on marginalisation of women
United Nations Women and government of Norway have identified poor representation of women in all areas of the Nigerian economy as a contributor to insecurity and attacks on women.
Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud, referred to hundreds of women held by the insurgents in the North East, saying that low participation of women in policy-making was compounding problems of insecurity and lack of peace for women.
He spoke at the official launch of a two-year programme on ‘Women, Peace and Security’ in Bauchi State yesterday with critical stakeholders who were in the committee for the success of the mission.
According to him, since Nigeria is part of Norway’s peace programme and had held national conference on women and peace with the embassy in September 2017, Norway has decided to empower women in Borno to participate in peace building and mediation.
“Women and children in Boko Haram captivity have been with trauma as they return to their communities. Here, the roles of religious and traditional leaders are very important. We know that women have been sidelined in the process of peace-making for too long,” the envoy lamented.
“Norway has given priority to women because they constitute more than half of the country’s population. As a result, a woman is today the prime minister, finance minister, foreign affairs minister and so on.”
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, represented by Mrs. Margaret Ibibo, expressed government’s readiness to support any intervention capable of bringing peace and security to women.
“It’s not an understatement to say that investing in women and girls have the potential to transform Nigeria by increasing productivity and promoting sustainable growth, peace and better health for the next generation,” the minister said.
Also, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria’s Child Protection Specialist, Mr Amos Kudzala, said the programme was to ensure practical implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) in three northern states of Nigeria (Bauchi, Gombe and Plateau) and to document its benefits to the management, mitigation and resolution of conflict on a demonstration basis.
Programme Specialist for the UN Women, Peter Mancha, identified areas where conflicts were being meted on women to include power-based, identity-based and resource-based, insisting that “these conflicts have grave consequences on them by displacement and loss of family members.”