By Naomi Sharang
The United Nations (UN) Women, on Thursday, tasked state governments on the implementation of State Action Plan (SAP) on Women, Peace and Security.
Programme Specialist, UN Women, Mr Peter Mancha made the call at a one-day consultative engagement for women and mediators in Plateau and Kaduna States held in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by UN Women in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
In his remarks, Mancha said that the state action plan emanated from the United Nations Resolution 1325, which increased the participation of women in peace and security.
He said that the objectives of the plan included prevention of conflict and all forms of violence against women and girls, institute coping mechanisms and systems for averting and mitigating disasters.
While noting that Nigeria had domesticated the plan, Mancha said that it was necessary for state governments to ensure its implementation.
“The state action plan is not just a document; there are frameworks and structures to enhance implementation of women, peace and security agenda.”
The specialist also said that 15 states had domesticated the action plan including Plateau and Kaduna states.
“UN Women is working to ensure that we support some states, currently we are supporting six states on this agenda. Plateau and Kaduna are part of the states.
“One of the objectives is how do we ensure that the legislators take ownership in terms of supporting this agenda so that it is not left for only the executive.
“This is so that they can be formulating laws that are gender sensitive and gender responsive. Of course we have the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act domesticated in almost all the 36 states.
“How do we ensure there is a framework to enhance implementation of these laws.”
“We are within the 16 Days of Activism which is a global event which started from Nov. 25 to culminate on Dec.10 been the International Human Rights Day.
“The theme for this year is Unite to End Violence Against Women and Girls.
“The VAPP Act is also in line with that theme. We want to also review and analyse how much progress have we made,” he said.
The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said that without the assistance of the parliament, the implementation of SAP and VAPP Act could not be realised
Sulaiman was represented by Director Legal Services, NILDS, Dr Shuiabu Danbata said that Kaduna, Plateau, Gombe and other states Assembly have shown commitment in domesticating the VAPP Act which other states should take cue.
He expressed the institution’s appreciation to the UN Women and development partners for facilitating developing agenda such as this to end violence against women.
Also speaking, the Plateau Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Rebecca Sambo said that the state was the first to gazette the VAPP law.
“The government has approved the implementation of the gender commission.
“With the law, women should stand up and ensure that their voices are heard
with regards to peace and security.”
Also, Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Plateau State, Mrs Grace Pam decried that women and children were usually the victims of conflicts and insecurity.
“When there is conflict and issue of security, the people affected much is women and children and they are never involved in the process of peace and security.
“This consultative engagement is very apt,” she said.
Similar, Deputy Minority Leader, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mrs Comfort Amwe said that the state was yet to pass the Gender Equality Bill.
“We are here to see how we can lobby for the passage of the gender equality bill.
“In Kaduna, we are yet to pass it. We will push for it to become a law; to see how women in particular will be safe in the environment.
“The challenges are numerous ranging from violence, setbacks in politics and other things.
“Even though women contribute a lot but the environment is not friendly,” she said.(NAN)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza