Background of the Developing Women’s Agenda for Peacebuilding in Nigeria | See pictures of event
COMMUNIQUE OF A CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP
Women’s Agenda for Peacebuilding in Nigeria HELD AT MERIT HOUSE, ABUJA, 11 – 16 APRIL 2010.
A four-day workshop was jointly organized by the Women, Peace and Development Initiatives (WPDI) in collaboration with the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS) Minna at the Merit House Abuja with the theme, Developing Women’s Agenda for Peacebuilding in Nigeria. Participants, who came from all over the federation, were drawn from women organizations and civil society groups, grassroots groups including market women, the academia, political parties, the civil service, the media, etc. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize and build capacities of women for peace building. The specific objectives were to:
- Provide knowledge on the causes and triggers of conflicts in Nigeria.
- Enhance awareness and skills in the application of national and international instruments and institutions that support Peacebuilding.
- Develop skills in conflict analysis and conflict management.
- Identify critical factors hindering the active involvement and engagement of women in Peacebuilding activities in Nigeria.
- Build the capacity of women to develop culturally friendly strategies for engagement in Peacebuilding at the community level.
- Enhance the participation of women in elective offices at various levels of governance.
- Develop an Action Plan for working for peace, good and inclusive governance.
The workshop considered and discussed several thematic issues including conflict resolution and Peacebuilding, the roles of women and youths in conflict, Peacebuilding, international and national and instruments and institutions for peace, governance and politics. Others are early warning and early response to conflict, peace support operations and humanitarian intervention. At the end of the workshop, and consistent with its deliberations, participants came up with the following observations:
- Condemned the increasing and recurring incidents of violent conflict in Nigeria and their attendant human and material deficits especially to women and children.
- Condemned the continued marginalization of women in Peacebuilding activities.
- Condemned the rising wave of insecurity in the country, particularly armed robbery, sexual violence, assassinations, kidnappings and human rights abuses to mention but a few.
- Noted that poor governance, corruption, over centralization of governmental functions, malfunctioning public institutions and other vices promote conflict and work against peace and development in Nigeria.
- Regretted the dismal presence of women in national politics, including the National Assembly and saw it as contributory to the poor quality of representation and governance in Nigeria.
- Lamented the non utilization of early warning signals of conflict by the appropriate authorities, and the reluctance to put early response mechanisms in place; leading to repeated incidents of conflict from which few lessons are learned.
- Expressed great concern over the absence of national institutions to protect women, children, the aged and the physically challenged from armed and violent conflict.
- Frowned at the monumental exclusion of women from the mechanisms and institutions for security and Peacebuilding in Nigeria.
- Noted the absence of peace education within the Nigerian educational system resulting in poor appreciation of conflict situations and the weak use of non violent approaches to conflict.
- Condemned the alienation of youths as unhealthy; and blamed the rising level of violent conflict on the alienation and disempowerment of the youth resulting in violent crimes like cultism, drug use and drug abuse, armed robbery and other despicable acts.
- Identified the need for women to be more pushful in seeking the actualization of affirmative action and promoting an environment for peace and security.
The Workshop made the following resolutions:
- Called on government to urgently establish a National Commission on Peace and Conflict Resolution.
- Called on government to ensure the security of lives and property all over the Nigerian federation.
- Called for Security Sector Reforms as a national priority.
- Called on the Government to take immediate steps to implement relevant sections of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 which provide for female representation at all levels for the promotion of peace, security and development.
- Called for the entrenchment and promotion of good governance at all levels.
- Called for at least 30% representation of women at all levels and in all the institutions responsible for the promotion of peace, security and development.
- Called for the use of peaceful methods including dialogue, negotiation and mediation at all levels in dealing with conflicts.
- Called for mainstreaming of peace education at all levels of the Nigerian educational system.
- Called for early warning and early response mechanisms beginning with the immediate establishment of a functional 3 digit emergency response hot line nationwide.
- Called on government to integrate youths at all levels of development including decision – making processes and peace activities with a view to tapping their potentials.
- Called on government to adopt a new multi stakeholder approach to conflict management in Nigeria as well as build the capacity of these groups for a more effective partnership.