Women in Plateau and Kaduna State have been encouraged to collaborate in tackling societal issues and take up roles as mediators thereby becoming key actors in Peacebuilding and Security.
This was contained in a message delivered by the Director-General of the Plateau Peace Building Agency. Mr Joseph Lengmang who led other stakeholders at a High-level Consultative Forum with critical stakeholders and women affected by conflict in Kanuda and Plateau State and the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the UNSCR 1325 held at the conference hall of the JPRM-POCC Gwash Lamingo on Monday 25th January 2021.
Mr Joseph Lengmang noted that women have continued to play active and vital roles in peacebuilding as such more space should be provided to accommodate them as natural peacebuilders. He further noted that Peace architecture cannot be structured without the active role of women as such he was an advocate for women in leadership and critical decision making which will lead to better societies and communities.
The DG, said the searchlight needs to be beamed more on women with leadership abilities and the capacity for mediation. Also assuring the forum and stakeholders present of his willingness for a high-level partnership.
The forum featured over 25 women drawn from conflict zones in Plateau and Kaduna state, an initiative powered by the Women Mediators Across the Common Wealth, WOPEN, CONCILIATION RESOURCES and The Women For Positive Peace Building Initiative.
The participants drawn from Kaduna and Plateau state shared real-life touching stories from their communities with many of them still displaced as they could not return to their homes due to lingering insecurities.
Stakeholders at the forum encouraged women not to shy away from public speaking especially when it comes to addressing societal ills and conflicts but to center their strengths on current mediation processes ongoing in the state in which they are key actors. Stating that dialogue will help in identifying key women mediators in the various states and further provided a platform in which they can further learn mediation skills and processes and be fully involved in decision making as key actors to drive the process.
Mrs. Justina Mike Ngwobia, Executive Director For Justice Peace and Reconciliation Movement and Founder of Women Peace Network In Nigeria. Said the dialogue was centered on creating a platform for community women and actively training them as mediators to be a voice for solving conflicts, learning from previous experiences and responding to certain situations with skills acquired.
She noted that consultative meeting of women who are key security and peacebuilding actors creates a platform for sharing of experiences on the different roles they played in peace and security-building as participants can learn from each other and explored current conflict dynamics on their individual communities ranging from community conflicts, domestic violence sexual abuse, banditry, and other sensitive issues.
The National Co-Coordinator of The Nigerian Women Mediators Network, Mrs. Lantana Bako Abdulahi, said it was a worthy meeting and a follow up after activities including mediation and dialogue training carried out within affected places in Plateau and Kaduna state. Noting that it was key that stakeholders come together to discuss conflict issues, how it affects women in communities but most importantly how all can collaboratively work together to address such issues.
Mrs Lantana noted that the project thus far has been able to recognize and amplify the voices of women who are working at the grassroots thereby providing a platform for them to say their issues and how it affects them and how they have been working to support the peace process in their communities. Also providing a common platform for women across the two states who are already involved in peace processes and encouraging more participation to intending women mediators to amplify their work and voices.
The Forum also featured keynote lectures on the 20th Anniversary of the UNSCR 1325. The resolution which specifically addresses how women and girls are disproportionally impacted by violent conflict and war and recognizes the critical role that women can and already do play in peacebuilding efforts. UNSCR 1325 affirms that peace and security efforts are more sustainable when women are equal partners in the prevention of violent conflict, the delivery of relief and recovery efforts and in the forging of lasting peace.