The UN Women has called for protection for women to enable them exercise their franchise before and during the 2023 General Elections.
Mr Peter Mancha, the Programme Manager, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) UN Women, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Tuesday.
Mancha made the call on the sidelines of a one-day training for journalists in Gombe.
The training is under the three-year Programme on WPS in Nigeria (Phase II) being implemented in Gombe State by UN Women in partnership with the Government of Nigeria and funding support from the Norwegian Government.
”Women play critical roles in the electoral systems in the country, hence more protection for them would enable them exercise their rights during the elections.
”It is important for all stakeholders to put necessary measures in place to ensure peaceful conduct of elections for women to vote and be voted for during the 2023 elections.
“No election will be successful if women are excluded because they have the voting population and play major roles during election,” he said.
Mancha also called for more support to enable more women participation in the 2023 general elections, adding that women inclusion in politics and leadership positions remained critical to national development.
“When it comes to decision-making and strategic positions, there is a connection between women in governance and peace and security.
“When women are included in governance or elected, they are able to create a balance and ensure that the needs of men and women are considered,” he said.
The UN Women official said women in Nigeria have potential that could be harnessed to help solve the challenges bedeviling the country.
Mancha said mainstreaming gender in all sectors of life was key to achieving sustainable peace and development for the benefit of citizens, adding that there was a huge gap in terms of women representation in all sectors.
This, he said, is the gap the UN Women is working to bridge in the country.
NAN reports that no fewer than 40 journalists based in Gombe State were trained on how to use their platforms to promote women’s engagement in peace and security.
NAN reports that on March 15, UN officials gathered with government and civil society representatives to draw attention to the scourge of violence against women worldwide who are involved in politics, which is increasingly seeing women parliamentarians, human rights defenders and electoral observers silenced, and intimidated.
The event brought together Vice-Presidents, Government Ministers and senior officials from more than 20 UN Member States, some of whom spoke from personal experience about the barriers to running for office as a woman candidate.
Speaking at the event, the head of the UN Women, Ms Sima Bahous, said that violence silences women, renders them invisible, pushes them from public space.
This, Bahrous said, in turn directly hinders progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which aims to lift people out of poverty and create a more equal, sustainable world.
Bahous pointed to hate speech as one of the drivers used to discredit women in the public sphere, and noted that such violence is particularly difficult on young women, who may respond by simply shunning political activism altogether.
“Only when women are safe from violence and there is accountability, only then, can we make progress.
” The UN women said today, women occupy only 26.1 per cent of parliamentary seats globally, compared to 13.1 per cent in 2000, according to the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU).
The share of women parliamentary speakers, in charge of managing day to day business in legislatures, has also increased from 8.3 per cent in 2005 to 24.7 per cent in 2021. Also, the UN deputy chief noted that concrete action is needed to address violence against women and girls.
Violence against women active in political life, she said, is a form of gender-based violence that manifests physically, psychologically and sexually, both in-person and online.
The Government of South Sudan, under the leadership of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare and with the support of UN Women, is in the process of developing its second National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
(WPS) for 2023-2027 in South Sudan.
As the National Action Plan captures current issues across society with its four pillars of prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery, the new “SSNAP” represents a nationwide interest and effort.
Consultations are underway with a variety of stakeholders at the national and state levels, and the new Plan is expected to be launched during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign in late 2022.
“If there is no peace, women it is the ones who suffer,” said the Hon. Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, Minister of Public Service of South Sudan at the nationwide consultation for the second South Sudan National Action Plan (SSNAP) on Women, Peace and Security ( WPS) on August 31, 2022 in Juba, South Sudan.
Organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare with the support of UN Women, the consultation brought together government representatives, civil society actors, security sector officials and representatives of development partners at the national level to discuss how SSNAP can protect women and girls in situations of armed conflict, safeguard their human rights, prevent violence, and ensure women's equal participation in peace negotiations and reconstruction efforts in South Sudan.
The new SSNAP builds on the progress made and lessons learned from South Sudan's first generation National Action Plan on WPS 2015-2020.
Solid progress was made in the implementation of the first SSNAP.
One of the main achievements was the participation of women as negotiators and observers in the peace negotiations in South Sudan, which led to the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in 2018.
South Sudanese women made up 25 percent of the official delegates and members of the Women's Coalition.
“The participation of women in the peace negotiations came with a significant achievement: the affirmative action quota, which ensures the political participation and representation of women at all levels of society, was increased from 25 to 35 percent.
For the first time, South Sudanese women also gained the status of signatories to the peace agreement and achieved a key role in the implementation mechanisms,” said Rukaya Mohammed, UN Women Acting Deputy Country Representative in South Sudan.
The new SSNAP aims to address the lessons learned from the first generation SSNAP.
All four pillars and some of the strategic objectives will be carried over to the new SSNAP, while adequate financial resources for implementation and strengthening of national institution ownership and capacity to implement SSNAP will be addressed.
One of the main objectives is also to localize the new National Action Plan in the states of South Sudan.
Many of the lessons learned are highlighted in the first-generation SSNAP progress report, released in December 2021.
A variety of stakeholders are consulted to ensure that the new SSNAP reflects the current context, needs, and priorities of communities.
South Sudanese women and girls.
, and society in general.
Government, civil society actors, youth, people with disabilities, development partners and the media are involved in the process at both national and local levels.
“The MPS agenda in South Sudan could not be more timely and relevant given the ongoing transition period for the Revitalized Peace Agreement and its overarching goal of achieving sustainable peace, security and reconciliation for the benefit of women, girls, the boys and girls of South Sudan.
The roadmap for the transition period together with its landmarks, such as the unification of the armed forces, the permanent constitution and democratic elections, require the full and equal participation of women alongside men,” he said.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council in October 2000.
It stresses the importance of equal participation and full participation of women in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.
It is accompanied by nine subsequent resolutions since then, a framework of ten resolutions that are a testament to the importance of women as peacebuilders and conflict mediators.
The National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security are a means to bring global normative frameworks into a national context and concrete actions.
The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and other top women in Africa on Thursday lunched a call to action to promote equal participation of women of all ages in peace building and decision-making at all levels.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the women launched the action at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings’’.
The High Level event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Mrs Buhari, the President of AFLPM, led other top women to call for action on women participation in peace building and it was signed by First Lady of Burundi, Mrs Angeline Ndayishimiye on behalf of the African First Ladies.
The First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire, Mrs Dominique Quattara also witnessed the signing of the declaration after it was read by Young Women Peace Builder, Ms Nadage Afoutou.
In her remarks, Afoutou, representative of Young Women Involved in Peace and Security from the Sahel spoke about the crises and challenges young women face in the Sahel.
The representative said that her organisation, United Network of Young Peacebuilder rely on four pillars of the UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security to build sustainable peace.
“We prioritise three axes to protect girls and young women from freedom of want and freedom of fear.
Our theory of change is that educated girls, trained and financial independent women have information and power.
“This power will reduce structural and personal vulnerabilities while increasing their resilience,’’ she said.
She said axe one was on capacity building to create pathway to economic empowerment; the second axe is female leadership programme and bootcamps and the last axe is focused on women’s political participation.
In her remarks, Ms Stefania Gianini, Assistant Director-General for Education (Education sector) at UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said the responsibility lied within the stakeholders to act.
Gianini said it was the responsibility of the responsibility of the top women to mobilize others to join forces on the enhancement of women’s inclusion in peace-making in Africa.
“It is my hope and belief that all active structures on the ground come together to form a single, unified coalition.
“Be assured of UNESCO’s willingness to revitalise these networks as we endeavour to complement our efforts through culture, as it’s about what we are.
“It’s about what we are, Education, as we are actually what we learn and Women leadership, as women care and the world increasingly needs a new kind of caring leadership,’’ she said According to her, UNESCO culture of peace and non-violence efforts continue to contribute to Agenda 2030, particularly SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and the Aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063, in line with the G5 Sahel Strategy for Development and Security (SDS).
NAN reports that event coincided with the 22 years anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and subsequently, nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.
Resolution 1325 established the first international legal and political framework recognizing the disproportionate impact of armed conflicts on women as well as the pivotal role of women in peace building.
It acknowledged the importance of the participation of women and the inclusion of the gender perspective in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, post conflict peace building and governance.
The Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda, set forth in resolution 2250 adopted by the Security Council in 2015 Subsequently, YPS resolutions has helped to strengthen and expand the global normative frameworks for sustainable, comprehensive and inclusive peace by integrating an age lens and highlighting the specific needs, experiences and aspirations of young women and men.
First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has advocated mandatory inclusion of peace education in curriculum of basic education of schools in Africa to promote the culture of peace in the continent.
Buhari made the call at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings’’.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the high level event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
The first lady, the President of AFLPM, who spoke virtually, said she it was necessary to include peace education in curriculum because of the peculiarity of conflicts in Africa.
“I made a case for the mandatory inclusion of “peace education” as an essential subject in the curriculum of Basic Education of schools in Africa during the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in May, 2022. “I am happy to report that the initiative was well received,’’ she said.
The first lady said as core partners and implementers of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, she extended a similar call on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) She said the call to UNESCO in consultation with other entities and partners was to consider the development of a universal curriculum on gender, peace and security education for all schools, as a way of giving concrete expression to Resolution 1325. She said the event coincided with the 22 years anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, and subsequently, nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.
She said it was also important to note that these landmark resolutions about the pre-eminent position of women and girls in peace-building, peace-making and peace-keeping processes were adopted in this great city of New York. “We are meeting at a time of heightened tension and conflict in all regions of the world.
“Therefore, it is time for women and their organisations to step up their contributions to the cause of peace and justice, and for the international community to attach greater value to the special voices of women in the peace process.
’’ According to her, as a guardian and partner in the struggle for African Peace, the challenge is even greater for our 12 year-old institution to rise and insist that women’s priorities are central to peace and security policy at all levels.
“It is evident that violent conflicits are greatest toll on women and girls, although we form more than half of the world’s population.
“In conflict situations, we are pre-disposed to the double jeopardy of horror and gender injustice in various forms.
“Already, there is a wide deficit in the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to limited access to healthcare, welfare services, economic opportunities and political participation by women and girls in Africa,.
“In a continent plagued by widespread disorder and state fragility, our individual countries are more than ever before faced with alarming ratios of maternal and child mortality.
“Besides death, injury and displacement, conflict destroys infrastructure, undermines social ties, and reduces the capacity of states to deliver on the development agenda promised the African electorate.
“Our vital resources are increasingly being diverted to put out the fire at various battle across Africa – from the Sahel, to the Oceans,’’ the first lady said.
Buhari said it was in the face of these difficulties that women had proved their peculiar skills-set as peace agents in conflict situations although this role has largely been ignored.
She said accepting and integrating the unique experience, capability and particularity of women into all aspects of the peace and security sector was therefore essential for the success of each of the component of the peace efforts.
“To achieve this and other goals, the social, cultural and political barriers that limit women’s full participation in achieving sustainable peace should therefore be addressed with renewed tempo.
“Happily, follow-up UN Security Council Resolutions 2242 have provided for “measures and standards” with which to monitor the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security mandates”, among others,’’ the First Lady said.
The Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and his wife.
The wife of the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mrs Florence Egopija, wife of Edo governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, wife of Plateau governor, Mrs Regina Lalong, among others, attended the event.
Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Ann Linde, says Sweden is committed to promoting women, peace and security agenda and showcasing gender responsive leadership to the best of its ability.
Linde made this known on Wednesday in her remarks during a symposium jointly organised by the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Government of Sweden, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
The hybrid symposium, themed: “Achieving Sustainable Peace and Security through Gender Responsive Leadership” focused on good practices, challenges, and opportunities around gender-responsive leadership.
It also focused on how leaders have incorporated the concept into their daily work to advance gender-equal peace and security.
According to Linde, all leaders have a responsibility to be gender responsive in their leadership.
She said this meant that those in executive or management positions should work towards gender equality, both internally and within workplaces when carrying out their organisations’ external work.
“In my view, one of the main reasons why the implementation of the women peace and security agenda remains inconsistent and underfunded is the lack of leadership.
“This involves leading by example, setting priorities and targets, communicating clearly and convincingly managing staff resources and operations and holding yourself and others to account of being gender responsive,” she said.
She added that in all situations of conflict and humanitarian crises, women and girls are among those affected the most.
This, she said is why the women, peace and security agenda is important and more relevant than ever.
Ms Yōko Kamikawa, Member, Japan’s House of Representatives, said it was more important for all leaders, women and men to take action for gender equality.
“As leaders, we can change organisations we find ourselves in to become more gender perspective organizations.
“By leading by example, more women may aspire to become the next generation of leaders and what I have learned over 22 years of my political career is that whether it is in a global or domestic context, it is most important to listen to the people.
“When we try to reach multiple stakeholders, including grassroots women’s group, though it requires efforts, the outcome will have a sustainable impact,” she said.
On her part, Ms Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security said women’s human rights is often undermined and sidelined in conflicts and crises around the world in favor of political considerations.
According to her, the main obstacle to furthering the WPS agenda is the lack of political will.
She noted that feminist leadership meant being outspoken advocates on issues affecting women, especially when there is a political cost to doing so.
“The goal should not only be to have processes, resources and institutions in place, but to have a meaningful impact on the lives of women girls and marginalised groups on the ground,” she said.
The Kwale County Government of Kenya has launched its County Action Plan to localize the Kenya National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2020-2024 (KNAPII).
Kwale is the fourth county to develop a local action plan, which articulates the critical role of women in peace and social cohesion. Speaking at the launch event, UN Women Partner - Human Rights Agenda Executive Director Yusuf Lule Mwatsefu explained the importance this action plan will bring to the coastal county:
“Kwale is affected by numerous factors that undermine the peace of its citizens. However, despite consolidated efforts, more can be achieved if we recognize and amplify the role that women in the community have in resolving and mitigating the effects of this insecurity. The women of Kwale have already shown the value they add to conflict resolution and this action plan will galvanize those who are already champions of peace and encourage more to accept the call.”
The action plan will guide targeted strategic actions that facilitate the meaningful participation of women in peace and security work with a focus on the four pillars of the country's national action plan: participation, prevention, protection, and relief and recovery. It also includes an implementation framework with indicators to measure progress and list the responsibilities of state and non-state actors.
KNAPII is the second phase of this policy framework that provides guidance on mainstreaming gender perspectives in peacebuilding and conflict management in development policies, plans and projects, and enabling peace communities and structures. Speaking at the launch event, UN Women Country Representative Anna Mutavati welcomed the action plan and set her sights on implementation:
“The development of this action plan clearly sets out the Kenyan Government's intentions to lead the women's peace and security agenda. Together with the government, women's rights organizations, peace actors, UN Women must guarantee a solid implementation, being aware of the impacts and challenges that the conflict has at the base. It sets a standard and will increase security in a region dealing with multiple, overlapping factors of conflict.”
UN Women, with the support of the Government of Finland, has been working with the Government of Kenya to tame UN Security Council 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) since 2010 through a twinning process, through the which the global south and north collaborate to advance the WPS agenda.
The UN Women Peace and Security (WPS) in Nigeria on Wednesday organised
a one-day annual planning workshop on women, peace and security reportage for journalist in Plateau.
The group’s National Programme Officer, Mrs Olubukola Ademola, said in Jos that the essence of the
workshop was to get participation of the media at various levels to work with peace building agencies.
She said the training would enable the journalists to respond to issues as they evolve, to avoid conflicts.
Ademola maintained that the media could work in synergy with relevant stakeholders and peace building
agencies in the state to promote peace and security.
She said that the media had huge opportunities to address peace and security and enhance the formation
of framework that would promote peace.
The officer added that the media roles ranged from setting agenda, monitoring and promoting issues on
accountability to amplifying various issues, creating awareness and pushing it forward for government to see and act.
She explained that the workshop would help the media to focus on women’s rights and gender equality issues
through quality reportage of gender sensitive matters.
Ademola said that a lot of work had been carried out in terms of mediation but the challenge was the under-reportage
of WPS work.
“The problem is not being able to tell the story of how efforts of WPS had transformed relationships at personal and
“The problem is that stories do not include information on intervention of women groups in reducing violence and
She, therefore, urged the media to document the good human angle stories and good reports of the WPS media network.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that participants at the workshop expressed enthusiasm in implementing what they had been taught.
One of the participants, Mrs Saadatu Mohammed, said she had learned new strategies and activities that would enable women to speak when violated.
Another participant, Mrs Juliana Aladeye, said the workshop was timely and had given her more insight in reporting and documenting women
The Vice Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Candith Mashego-Dlamini, arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, today to co-chair the Global Network of Focal Points on Women, Peace and Security that will take place in Geneva from May 18 to 19, 2022. South Africa together with Switzerland are the WPS Co-Chairs for 2022. The theme of the 2022 Swiss-South Africa Co-Chair of the MPS Focal Point Network is: Partnership for Change: Translating the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in action". This theme embodies the idea of cooperation between states, regional and international organizations and civil society as a source of innovation and transformation of the women, peace and security agenda.
The two main objectives of this year's meeting will focus on two interrelated pillars of the MPS Agenda: participation and protection. The participation of women in all phases of peace processes and at all levels of decision-making is interlinked with the protection of women's rights. One doesn't work without the other. Women are actors at the same time, the gradual erosion of their rights is impacting women's opportunities and affecting the implementation of global WPS commitments. This capital-level meeting aims to foster the development of transformative strategies that can be integrated into National Action Plans. MPS policies and regional framework.
While in Geneva, Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini is also expected to hold several bilateral meetings with her counterparts and various key stakeholders.
The Norwegian Deputy Minister for International Development, Ms. Bjørg Sandkjær, has called for integrating peace and security into climate-smart and sustainable energy to find sustainable solutions that address the needs of women facing energy crises. Ms. Bjørg Sandkjær made the remarks during a field mission to UN Women-supported programs in Adjumani district, Uganda. The Royal Norwegian Embassy supports two UN Women flagship programs in Uganda: Women Peace and Security (WPS) and Leadership, Empowerment Access and Protection (LEAP) since 2018 and 2017 respectively. Interventions have been implemented in the refugee hosting districts of Yumbe and Adjumani and in Kotido.
The four components of the Norwegian government's current support program in Uganda include: strengthening GEWE and sexual and reproductive health rights, ending violence against women (EVAW), women's economic empowerment, women's peace and security and political participation of women; Climate Smart Agriculture with a particular focus on working with small farmers for food security and income; integrated efforts at the humanitarian and development nexus on women's empowerment and gender equality; and sustainable energy that addresses the energy needs of women.
Over the next four years (2021 - 2025), the Norwegian Embassy has committed USD 5,764,381 for LEAP programming targeting four refugee-hosting districts of Adjumani, Yumbe, Terego and Kyegegwa and pledged USD 4,604,148 to support the implementation of the third Ugandan National Action Plan on Women's Peace. and Security (NAP III WPS 2021 – 2025).
UN Women Acting Country Representative, Ms. Adekemi Ndieli, commended the Norwegian government for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment globally and for using its position during its presidency of the UN Security Council in January 2022 to raise awareness of threats and reprisals against women peacebuilders and human rights. defenders of her, in addition to her firm commitment to give more space to civil society in the discussions of the Council.
Ms. Bjørg Sandkjæ interacted with refugee women who are beneficiaries of interventions funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Jane, one of the beneficiaries of the English for Adults (EFA) Program implemented by the Refugee Law Project, an implementing partner of UN Women, recounted how her life has been transformed. “It was very difficult for me to get ahead because access to almost all services required knowledge of the English language. At the time I joined, I couldn't speak a single word of English. Thanks to EFA, I can do many things. I can read, write and speak without the need for an interpreter. In the hospital, I can speak directly with the doctors. With the skills I gained from EFA, people in my community trust me and have appointed me as the secretary of our VSLA. When I graduate, I want to enroll in a teaching course and become a teacher.”