By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP) has called on both the federal and the state governments to engage more women in peace processes.
According to the group, women must be involved in not just at the middle or end of the discussions but that they must be engaged from the beginning of the peace processes to the end.
They made the call during a webinar with the theme: “Insecurity and COVID- 19: Expectations and Contributions of Women to Promote Sustainable Peace in Nigeria”.
The event was attended by over 60 participants mainly composed of Muslims and Christians and was moderated by the IDFP Co-Publicity Secretary; Elder Dr. Mrs. Uzoaku J. Williams and the Project officer; Hajiya Lantana Abdullahi.
The Co-chairmen of the organisation; Alhaji Kunle Sanni Ishaq and Bishop Sunday Onuoha; and the guest speakers Hajiya Halima Jibril and Deaconess Bola Iheasiulor as well as the discussants; Hajiya Monsurat Alli-Oluwafuyi and Evangelist Charity Nwannediuto Moses seek for more participation of women in peace building.
In a communique, the Interfaith said that for a sustainable peace in Nigeria and the world at large, gender equality and women’s right should be promoted and prioritise.
“Women and girls should be well empowered through education to reduce illiteracy. The government should organise skill training for women and girls to enhance their business management skills, self-confidence and participation in leadership; government should grant micro-loans to women to join forces together to improve their quality of life.
“Government should develop policies that promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women as well as financial support. Government needs to actualise the UN 1335 resolution in Nigeria to ensure women are involved in peace building. More women should be engaged in peace processes, not just at the middle or end of the discussions but from the very beginning of peace processes,” the communique said.
The forum also resolved that there should be engagement of women from the grassroots and collaboration of women led organisation, as this will go a long way; instead of making up assumptions of what women want in conflict situations without their involvements.