George Okoh in Makurdi
United Nations Women Deputy Country Representative to Nigeria, Mr. Lansana Wonneh, Thursday said women would play a great role if they are allowed to participate in peace building and conflict resolution.
Speaking at the official launch of the women, peace and security programme in Benue State and celebration of the 2019 International Women’s Day, Wonneh said women are affected in situations of conflict and will do better in peace building process if they are actively involved.
He, however, expressed worry that 99 percent of women are marginalised and not given the opportunity to participate in peace and security issues.
According to him, gender equality is a human rights issue and needs to be handled with all seriousness.
Also speaking, Programme Specialist, UN Women, Peter Mancha, said the objective of the programme in Nigeria and indeed in Benue State was to ensure that women participate effectively in peace and security process, peace negotiations, conflict prevention and resolution.
He also said it was also to improve public perception of the role of women in peace and security.
Mancha noted that the programme is sponsored by the Norwegian Government and designed to end within two years (2019-2020), and would involve key stakeholders in realising its aims and objectives.
According to him, “The programme approach would also support government in the issue of insecurity with active involvement of women, reforming security and judiciary to have active gender policies.
“It will also look at capacity building and strengthening of institutions as well as making use of media sensitisation.”
Earlier, various stakeholders, including Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Benue State; FIDA, BENGONET, police among others commended the UN Women for the programme, saying it will help in promoting women participation in peace and security matters.