By Abubakar Baba Ahmad.
The Federal Government has solicited for additional support from development partners towards the expansion of UN Women Peace and Security project to other states of the federation.
Currently, their are four participating states under the project to include Bauchi, Benue, Borno and the FCT Abuja.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Child Development Dame Pauline Tallen made the call at the end project learning and dessimination meeting for Bauchi and Benue states held in Abuja.
Dame Pauline Tallen represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Ambassador Antonia Ekpa said the project has changed the negative narrative on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and other forms of abuse, hence the need for its replication in non participating states.
She called for stronger commitment at ensuring women’s safety in road transportation especially with high rate
of kidnappings across the country.
“Women have to be enlightened, our girl children are being kidnapped, people are entering schools and taking our children, so what is the nation doing for us to sit as stakeholders, for us to look at what to do about all these situations beyond just advocacy. She posited”
Earlier, the Ambassador of Norway in Nigeria Knut Lein who disclosed that the project is predicated based on the Norwegian policy of making the Society better interms of women participation, commended all parties involved for a successful completion.
Knut Lein who decried weak implementation, promised continued support towards realising objectives of the project.
“We are specially proud of having been able to involve the security apparatus, civil societies, local leaders and a whole range of people and our commitment would continue, and we’re just about to sit down with them to continue our discussions on how to support this work going forward, he disclosed”
In separate remarks, the Country Director International Alert Wangari Wanjau and the UN Women representative Peter Mancha said the project which was launched about two years ago, was to ensure active participation of women in governance and their voices heard.
They expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded especially with the constitution of State Implementation Committees, Women Mediators Network, and He4She Champions towards implementing the project to the later.
“Providing the platforms and providing the capacity with the people to address their issues in a way that is protected and accepted by their own; one -its a very clear roadmapthat jas beeen documented under the state action plan , two- the setup of structures to implement those action plans, three- the commitment from governments to ensure that women’s spaces are provided at all states, she stated”
The meeting drew participants from various implementation groups and partner bodies from Bauchi and Benue states.