DG NILDS urges state assemblies to domesticate laws on protection of women, girls

Sulaiman

DG NILDS, Abubakar Suleiman

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Director-General of National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS), Professor Abubakar Suleiman has urged the 36 State Houses of Assembly to domesticate laws passed by the National Assembly to guarantee security and protection of women and girls during conflicts in line with State Action Plan(SAPs) of United Nation Council Resolution (UNSCR)1325.

Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, the Director General of NILDS, gave the charge during a sensitization programme on “Women Peace and Security in Nigeria” organised by Agency in collaboration with United Nations Women and the Norwegian Embassy in Port Harcourt.

The workshop with the theme “Women Peace and Security in Nigeria” was organised for state lawmakers from Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Kogi, Plateau and Rivers.

Sulaiman said that the aim of the workshop was to sensitize the states lawmakers to understand the State Action Plans and the implementation process.

The United Nations Security Council passed resolution in 2000 commonly referred to as the United Nation Council Resolution(UNSCR)1325 on women, peace and security.

Sulaiman noted that countries are required to come up with National Action Plans (NAPs) on women, peace and security that reflect their commitment and accountability towards the security of women and girls during armed conflicts, while ensuring their participation in peace processes.

According to Sulaiman, Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with UN Women, launched its first National Action Plans in 2013, and the second in 2017.

“The States are also required to draw from this national document and contextualize it appropriately in their domains through State Action Plans(SAPs) on women, peace and security,”he said.

He stated that 16 out of the 36 States in Nigeria have domesticated the NAPs, with Local Action Plans (LAPs) across at least 16 local government areas.

Sulaiman explained the importance of legislators assuming collaborative ownership of the SAPs, being familiar with their content, and ensuring oversight of their strategic levels of implementation.

He called on all states lawmakers to formulate relevant laws to ensure that the State Action Plans reflects women’s perspectives and women are given full recognition and consideration in security matters, subject to the dictates of UNSCR 1325.

He urged lawmakers to commit to work collaboratively with the national executive to ensure that Nigerian women and girls enjoy equal participation in decision-making processes that affect the security of their lives.

He commended the UN Women for their worthy partnership over the years and commitment to eliminate discrimination against women and girls globally, and particularly in Nigeria.

Sulaiman assured that NILDS, in collaboration with UN Women and Norwegian Embassy will continue to provide technical support necessary for State Houses of Assembly to own the SAPs.

In his remark,the Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adeoye Aribasoye, said that the workshop was apt as it wakes up all states Assembly on the need to implement and prioritize the security of women in Nigeria.

Aribasoye said that Ekiti State Assembly is on track with the State Action Plans in line with the UNSCR 1325, assuring that the state would keep improving on domestication of its laws and policies on women inclusion and full participation in the peace, security, and economy of the nation.

He called on other states Assembly yet to formulate the SAPs to emulate other states to formulate and implement the SAPs for the protection and welfare of women and girls in their states and country at large.

Furthermore, Mrs Any Oyekunle,the Consultant who facilitated the workshop on the National Action Plan for the United Nation Council Resolution(UNSCR 1325),stressed that the awareness on women inclusion in governance has increased, but has not improved in commendable action.

She also urged states lawmakers not to overlook the opportunities for women inclusion in security, peace, local council architecture peace and mediation and also in laws that protect their rights and welfare.

Oyekunle also urged the states lawmakers to include women programmes in their state budget and also report the progress to the National action plans and state action plans in the global space.

She charged the lawmakers to review their laws and policies to ensure that its in line with the existing laws and policies, ensuring that violence against persons law and laws on state security are in line with the existing laws.

Professor Abubakar Sulieman,Director-General National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies

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