Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The Federal Government has been urged to prioritise Women Peace and Security (WPS) issues as outlined in Nigeria’s 2nd National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementations of United Nations Resolution 1325, simply called UNSCR 1325.

The implementation of WPS issues will assist the nation in reducing all forms of violence against women and girls and help to deliver on globally agreed development plans and targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063.

The call was made in a recent statement by the Technical Consultant to UN Women- Women Peace and Security project, Mrs. Esther Eghobamien-Mshelia, while outlining issues beyond 16 days of activism to end violence against women.
Eghobamien-Mshelia said gaps and weaknesses in the 1st NAP were insufficient.

She said: “Notwithstanding, the NAP overall proved to be a useful tool for galvanising action and making the global – local. It has helped to awaken many stakeholders and promote system wide approaches for mainstreaming gender into Human Security concerns including within the peace architecture of States and local communities. It has further helped to measure four key indices necessary for attaining WPS objectives namely: political will; accountability, responsiveness and inclusivity.”

She pointed out that in Nigeria, there is a growing recognition that women in conflict situations must be viewed not only as victims, but also as powerful agents for peace and security in their communities, adding that women’s gender roles have placed them in positions where they act as first responders in providing humanitarian assistance, care and support to their families and members of the community.

“In Plateau state for example, through daily purchases, market women can often tell when there is likely to be crisis. In some situations, women act as ‘peace-builders’ and play a reconciliatory role within the community. However, it should be noted that women can also be perpetuators of violence – as seen recently in media reports and in some cases in the North-east where besides being used as human battle shields, women and girls have played the role of suicide bombers”, she said.

The Consultant also spoke on pillars and operational arrangements to allow stakeholders respond more accurately to Nigeria’s current realities and WPS concerns as outlined in the 2nd NAP.