Strengthening Women’s Participation for Broader Peacebuilding Initiatives.

Nigeria, and indeed the Northeast is a conflict prone area with deep seated multiple crises of religious tensions. These conflicts, largely due to poverty, unemployment and illiteracy have displaced over 1.8 million people and put over 4.8 million in crises, emergencies and famine and resulted in one of the worlds’ worst cases of humanitarian crises. Women and children are the most affected vulnerable groups (both in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and local communities in the Northeast and other states in Nigeria). Poor health conditions, Transactional sex, human trafficking, early/forced marriage and drug abuse have been reported among IDPs.

Conflicts often force women to organize themselves to safeguard basic necessities and to carry out activities that will ensure access to basic social amenities including education and healthcare for their household. These activities have a resultant effect in ensuring lasting peace and presents the need for governments at all levels to consciously ensure the inclusion of women in key peace negotiations. Women constitute half of every community and the difficult task of peacebuilding should be framed as an organized partnership between men and women for maximum social impact. Women are also the central caretakers of families and everyone is affected when they are excluded from peacebuilding. Women are also advocating for peace, as peacekeepers, relief workers and mediators. Expanding women’s participation in peace-building and recovery is critical to addressing gender-based violations in times of conflict and advancing equality. In conflict zones, women are disproportionately affected by sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and rights violations. And the legacy of this violence endures long after a peace agreement is signed. Access to justice means more than punishing the perpetrators. It means redress and reparations that enable women to recover losses, alleviate poverty and promote women’s long-term empowerment to become full and equal members of society.

CATAI through this project seeks to increase the role of women in the peacebuilding process by ensuring women play a key role in the designing and implementation of post-conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and recovery activities. CATAI and other women-led organizations will utilize its experience in implementing peacebuilding initiatives, community sensitization on GBV, integrated Education in Emergencies, Child Protection in Emergencies, and livelihood programmes to tackle the complex, interlinked barriers to health information and livelihood for women and girls. Building on existing relationships with government and other stakeholders to ensure coordination and complementarity, we will form the basis for targeted support to reach and meet the needs of vulnerable and at-risk women and girls in Borno while improving the socio-economic recovery and political participation of women and girls in peacebuilding contexts.