The National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), alongside the UN Women, has called on the state legislatures to domesticate and implement the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in the country.
The Director General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, made the call at the formal opening of a sensitisation workshop on “Women, Peace and Security in Nigeria”.
The workshop was organised by NILDS in Port Harcourt, together with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution in 2000, commonly referred to as the United Nation Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Sulaiman said that countries were required to come up with National Action Plans (NAPs) on women, peace and security that reflect their commitment and accountability towards the security of women and girls during armed conflicts, while ensuring their participation in peace processes.
According to him, Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with UN Women, launched its first National Action Plan in 2013 and the second in 2017.
“The states are also required to draw from this national document and contextualise it appropriately in their domains through State Action Plans (SAPs) on women, peace and security,” he said.
He said that the workshop was to sensitise states that had formulated the State Action Plan to deliberate and share their experiences on the implementation process.
He called on the state legislatures to formulate relevant laws to ensure that their State Action Plans reflect women’s perspectives and that women were given full recognition and consideration in security matters, subject to the dictates of UNSCR 1325.
Sulaiman said that women had “principally been considered simply as victims of conflict and violence, while being poorly represented in formal peace and security decision-making processes, and excluded as important agents of peace”.
He said that Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi and Rivers sent their representatives to the workshop.
According to him, 16 of the 36 states in the country had domesticated the NAPs, with Local Action Plans (LAPs) across at least 16 Local Government Areas.
Sulaiman said it was important for legislators to assume collaborative ownership of the SAPs, being familiar with their content, and ensure oversight of their strategic levels of implementation.
He gave assurance that NILDS, in collaboration with UN Women, would continue to provide welfare, protection and technical support necessary for state legislatures to own the SAPs.
He therefore urged them to commit to work collaboratively with the executive to ensure that their women and girls enjoy equal participation in decision-making processes that affect the security of their lives.
Sulaiman commended the UN Women for its worthy partnership over the years and committing to eliminating discrimination against women and girls globally, and particularly in Nigeria.
In a remark, the Speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Adeoye Aribasoye, described the workshop as apt.
He said that it helped “to wake up all the state legislatures on the need to implement and prioritise the security of women in the country”.
He said that the Ekiti assembly was on track with the State Action Plan of 1325.
He promised that the state would keep improving on the domestication of its laws and policies on women inclusion and full participation in the peace, security and economy of the state.
The speaker called on other state legislatures that had yet to formulate the SAPs to intensify efforts in ensuring that the protection and welfare of women and girls were paramount in their states and country at large.
Furthermore, the workshop Consultant/Facilitator, Mrs Any Oyekunle, said that the awareness on women inclusion in governance had increased but not so in commendable action.
Oyekunle urged state legislatures not to overlook the opportunities for women inclusion in security, peace, local council architecture for peace and mediation and in laws that protect their rights and welfare.