Northwest conflict: Deaf women, others task state actors on involvement in decision making processes

Abuja Association of Deaf Women , Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiatives and other Civil Society Organizations have called on state and all actors to pensure the active involvement and representation of women, especially women from marginalized groups, in all peace and security initiatives and decision-making processes in Northwest Nigeria.

The recommendation was jointly made in a communique at the just concluded 2024 Northwest Regional Conference on Women, Peace and Security, with the theme: “Promoting Best Practices for Inclusive Security and Peacebuilding Processes in Northwest, Nigeria”, hosted by Global Rights in Abuja.

The conference served as a convergence point, bringing together an array of stakeholders including community representatives, implementing partners, government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), law enforcement entities, donor agencies, State Peace Commissions, and esteemed religious and faith-based organizations.

The 2-day conference was a hybrid event with over 250 persons in attendance, both online and in-person.
The Group said there is the need to strengthen community structures and traditional leadership involvement in local policing efforts to enhance trust and cooperation between security agencies and communities.

According to them, there is a need to expand the geographical scope of the current intervention being implemented by Global Rights to other communities in Sokoto and Kaduna states and the wider Northwest region to maximize impact and reach.

“State agencies and all other actors should implement targeted interventions that have been proven to be effective to address the specific risks and vulnerabilities faced by women and girls affected by the conflicts in the region, including the provision of sanitation kits in IDP camps and increased protection measures in schools.

“State and local authorities must continue to ensure legal support services are readily available at Police stations to provide legal services to victims. Legal assistance schemes like the Police Duty Solicitor Service (PDSS) should be encouraged.

” Existing Gender units within the police force must become specialized and the capacities of officers deployed to such units strengthened to effectively respond to issues of gender-based violence and ensure the effective implementation of gender-sensitive policies.

“Law enforcement agencies should increase their engagements with civil society organizations and local businesses in complementing government efforts in community policing and security provision.

“The Federal and Regional Governments should develop a sustainable and comprehensive government framework for promoting peace and security in Northwest Nigeria, incorporating input from diverse stakeholders and prioritizing inclusivity and human rights,” they said .