Nigeria: NGO Demands Women Inclusion in Peace Building, Combating Terrorism

A Non-Governmental Organisation, Help A Mum Initiative, (HAMI) on Monday organized a one day workshop on the role of women in peace building and defeating terrorism.

The event which coincided with the 10th year anniversary of the organisation was held in Abuja with the theme: "Women gender in peace building and defeating terrorism."

The Chief Executive Officer of the initiative, Oseni Abiodun Zika, said they focused on the topic due to the current events unfolding in the country such as kidnapping and raping of women and to show that the ills could be cured if women who are majorly at the center of these problem are chosen.

She said that, "When we get our homes right; then the societies too will be fine. And it starts with us women but we are the ones at home and nurtured. When the father goes out to fight for the feeding of the home; we are the ones nurturing the home. So it begins with us to try and see what we can do and then change the narrative.

"Basically the role of women is to hold forth when the fathers are not there. So when we nurture we can also go out and work towards what we have nurtured. But they don't include us because they feel what we can offer nothing than the strength of running a home. I don't know if it's the same thing as that of running a country because once a home is deficient you are now running nothing," she maintained.

While stressing the need for women inclusion in the affairs of the day, she said: "I feel that the inclusion for women should be looked into properly by the government, because when you include a woman many things are going to be right.

"And the inclusion doesn't start and stop from the table of the conference rooms. Let's start it from the beginning, that's from home. I think the government should listen to us and I am not saying that all women should be included. They should listen to us and see the profiles of women and what they are going to bring to the table."

One of the keynote speakers at the event, Pietro Uzochukwu, who is a coordinator of Activating Positive Peace in Nigeria Programme also corroborated the CEO's stance saying that women have shown capacities at the various levels in peace building even at grassroots level.

He however stressed that what they now need is sustainability, empowerment and platforms for them to bring their capacities to bear.

"They have the technical knowhow, passion, love and vision for the country. All they need to do is being done so now it's left for the government and key stakeholders in the society to augment their effort in terms of support, capacity building and allowing their voices to be heard," he said.

On the challenges bedeviling women in achieving peace building in the society, the peace advocate said that the major challenges they face have to do with capacity, resources, stereotypes and cultural norms and values.

He therefore suggested the need to demystify such bottlenecks and realize that globalization brings certain norms to be adjusted and watered down.

He noted that women suffer more than the men folks from violence, displacement, family issues and everything; therefore according there's no reason for a person who is at the receiving end to suffer more and not have a stake or opinion in addressing and redressing such issues.

The workshop was held in collaboration with Rotary Club Abuja with other partners that cut across various sectors of life, including the media.

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