By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Defence College (NDC) has graduated 34 middle level officers from the military, security and paramilitary agencies on gender mainstreaming in the security institutions and training academy.
The participants were drawn from the military, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) and Federal Fire Service.
Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), said the course was aimed at equipping the participants on the concept of gender mainstreaming and enhance their understanding on gender responsiveness in the security sector.
Daji, represented by Dr Danladi Nit, Acting Provost, NDC Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, expressed optimism that the participants were better informed on gender mainstreaming and requisite skills in dealing with gender related issues.
He commended the UN Women for its commitment towards entrenching gender consciousness and bridging the gender gap in the nation’s security sector.
“This course has 34 participants from the various security sector, and I must commend you for applying yourself to this course.
“It is my hope that you make use of the knowledge you have acquired upon your return to your various institutions,” he said.
Comfort Lamptey, UN Women Country Representative, said that women peace and security was one of the thematic areas of focus by the UN Women.
Lamptey who was represented by Mr Peter Mancha, Programme Specialist, said the organisation had been supporting the government of Nigeria to meet the commitment of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of which Nigeria had domesticated the action plan.
She commended NDC for being a strategic partner in gender mainstreaming in the security forces by conducting training on gender for senior female officers of the various security agencies.
According to her, the UN women has created platform for inter-agency coordination among the security institutions known as gender reference group in the security sector.
She said the group had been meeting on quarterly basis to look at how to bridge the existing gap in the military and other security organisations.
Lamptey commended the Chief of Defece Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor for his commitment towards enhancing gender mainstreaming in the armed forces.
She said the UN agency was partnering NDC with the realisation that training institutions were critical for strengthening gender mainstreaming in security sector and addressing the existing gaps.
Also speaking, Course President, Flt.-Lt. Oluwabunmi Ijelu, said the participants had been thoroughly equipped with various topics on gender in the security sector.
Ijelu said that majority of the participants had before the commencement of the course, believed that the term gender was all about women emancipation, saying they later understood that the term meant equal opportunity for both men and women.
According to her, they are better enlightened and will take the knowledge back to their respective organisations to promote gender equality and equity. (NAN)