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Anambra sets agenda for National Action Plan



A TWO-DAY training workshop organised by  Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs, Children and Social Welfare for stakeholders on National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution ( UNSCR ) 1325 and related resolution on women, peace and security in Nigeria has ended.

The the programme, which was held at  Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, had participants drawn from relevant agencies in the state including the media, local government councils, women leaders, Civil Society Organisations, security agencies, among others.

During the interactive programme, one of the resource persons, Dr Joy Onyesoh, a consultant on women, peace and security listed  objectives of the programme as: building capacity on the National Action Plan For The Implementation of UNSCR 1325, having an idea on how to coordinate activities across the relevant ministries in the 36 states on implementation of the National Action Plan as well as monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the action plan while stating that the expectation of the programme is to further accelerate the development of the NAP. According to her, the UNSCR 1325 was adopted in the year 2000. It is the first of the eight resolutions on women, peace and security.

Hear her: “The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, unanimously passed by the security council on the 31st of October 2000 is the first of many resolutions on women, peace and security ( WPS ). It builds on a body of international human rights laws and legal instruments. It is a ground- breaking resolution which recognises that conflict impacts on women differently from men. It demands protection of women and girls during conflict and post conflict situations.

“The resolution recognises women’s role as peace builders and agents of change and calls on UN with member states, civil societies and the international community to ensure women’s increased participation in conflict prevention, peace negotiations and all peace processes, reconstruction, decisions and programmes”.

Dr Onyesoh while engaging the participants in brainstorming sessions on emerging issues affecting women and girls in the state, x-rayed the key elements that characterized the UN Resolution 1325.

Her words: ” The UNSCR 1325 stresses that peace is extricably linked with equality between women and men also affirms the equal access and full participation of women in power structures and all efforts geared towards peace and security as essential. The resolution is rooted in the premise that women’s inclusion, participations are crucial to the dialogue and will improve the chances of attaining viable and sustainable peace. The resolution is further rooted in the knowledge that gender equality itself is a source of sustainable peace.

While fielding questions from journalists at the event, the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Children and Social Welfare, Mrs. Ndidi Mezue, through her representative, Mr Onyeka Ebenebe said that the government had since complied with the National Action Plan hence saw the need to organised the training for all stakeholders in the state. He stated that the governor had the welfare of the people and especially the women and girls in his mind hence sought to have the State Action Plan which recognises education. Peace and quality healthcare.

In his words: ” Anambra State is working to have her own action plan which will ensure that women and girls are part and processes of peace building of a prosperous state. This can only be achieved when the necessary enabling environment are created and of course, Dr Willie Obiano has done this judiciously by ensuring that the key issues in the action plan like education, healthcare services, women participation in governance are achieved to a reasonable extent. So basically, that is what we are doing in the state to ensure that the Anambra State Action Plan (ASAP) is not just a document but a workable one”.

On his take on emerging issues whereby women are sidelined in issues affecting women and girls, the SA to the Commissioner stated, ” the state governor has been able to increase the number of women participation in government decision making process most especially as it concerns political appointments and other key sensitive positions in the state.

“In that regard we would like to score our governor 45% because the affirmation action states that it is 35% but fortunately for us, Willie Obiano has surpassed that percentage giving that almost 50% of the team working in his administration are women and young girls who has also demonstrated a high capacity in their various fields of endeavors, that again is a plus”.

“In terms of education, it is well known that the state has been in the the forefront of education outcomes as evident in the WAEC results where you will find the high percentage of passes involved in core subjects”.

On the challenges of security in the state, he offered, “Yes, security is a key issue in the plan. As security is not the absence of war, there is a process to security and because of that, you also look at the components of security which is to ensure that basic things that will make life livable is achieved like education, health and participation since it is only when someone does not participate in decision making process that affect their lives that they will begin to feel marginalized. Insecurity gives rise to conflict which stems the absence of government in the lives of the people but luckily for us here in the state, it has been empowerment galore all the way both for vulnerable and indigent ndi Anambra”.

On the measures put in place to see that it is registered at the grassroots, he said, “We have been able to engage a consultant to train stakeholders on the content of the State

Action Plan ( SAP ) is very instructive and that is why we invited participants from the local government and community women leaders, in that way it helps to step down the training. The 2- day training they have received will be stepped down in their various communities that is one way of ensuring that it does not end at the state level but also gets to the grassroots level”.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr Azuka Ofomata, while addressing the participants cautioned on extreme feminism and the traditional role women are destined to play in the family unit, and opined that any conflict in that direction can negate the family values.

However he is of the opinion that men, as well as women are not limited in roles and obligations in the family and society as he commended the governor immensely for his conviction in women’s participation in his administration.

A director in the ministry, Mrs Hope Ekesiobi, thanked the participants and acknowledged the resource person for the high quality and interactive sessions which they are convinced will form the framework of the National Action Plan ( NAP).

Meanwhile the resource person, Dr Joy Onyesoh, promised to return in no distant time to cap up with the harmonize action master plan that will finally form the National Action Plan ( NAP).

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