Women, Peace and Security agenda takes centre stage in Benue State, Nigeria

Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021

First Lady of Benue State, H.E Dr. Mrs Eunice Ortom during the launch. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

Benue State made history as the 14th State in Nigeria to launch its State Action Plan (SAP) in line with Nigeria’s efforts to domesticate its National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security- that seeks to include women’s active participation in peace processes, conflict prevention and early warning and decision-making processes at all levels.

In their good will messages, representatives from UN Women Nigeria, International Alert and the Govt. of Norway all congratulated Benue on this achievement and called for inclusion of more women in both formal and informal decision-making processes.

Benue state is one of the states in Nigeria that has been contending with incessant violent conflict  and attacks, resulting to loss of lives and properties, leaving women and children as majority of the populace that bear the brunt’ said Comfort Lamptey in her opening remarks.  Further, ‘…I congratulate the Government and people of Benue State on this special occasion of its SAP launch, and pledge UN Women’s continued support to the Women, Peace and Security agenda and other related development initiatives on gender equality and women empowerment’

The SAP event was coordinated by UN Women, in partnership with the Benue State Ministry of Women Affairs and International Alert and graced by H.E Dr. Mrs Eunice Ortom, First Lady of Benue State, who in her address commented that ‘…There is an urgent need to change the perception of women in the security sector, conflict resolution and peace and mediation’.

Additionally, in attendance was representation from the Executive Governor, Women’s Mediation Networks, He for She advocates, Traditional and Cultural Leaders, Youth, among others.

Underscorig the gains made in lauching a State Action Plan (SAP) in Benue, ‘Having a SAP is a means to an end. It’s a good achievement, but its better to have the sap fully implemented to achieve the desired goals in Benue’ Peter Mancha, UN Women.

We have engaged various stakeholders including men on one on one conversations with men and how to get the public buy in on the importance of engaging women in decision making’ Mr. Tine Agernor, HE for She network in the state.