Nigeria Armed Forces Hosts 2023 Gender Mainstreaming Conference, As Remi Tinubu Advocates More Women in Security Forces

In a view to embrace holistic realities in the integration of wider gender perspective for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Defence Headquarters conducted a one day Annual Gender Mainstreaming Conference 2023 with the theme, "Building Capacity through Gender Mainstreaming to Meet Security Challenges. 

The Armed Forces of Nigeria under the Command of General Christopher Gwabin Musa, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has remain focused in championing gender based doctrinal policies both in its operations and other engagements. 

The Special Guest of Honour, the First Lady of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, ably represented by Nana Shettima, wife of the vice-president, advocated for more women to be encouraged to join the military for a more equitable society.

She said that a new dawn for women in the country as the current administration will give women more room to contribute their quota. I am also looking for ways to contribute. We cannot have a Nigeria without people doing new and great things.

Mrs Tinubu who commended the leadership of the armed forces of Nigeria for organising the programme, describing the event as timely because it is about shaping a safer, better and more equitable world for all said the security challenges in the country have become complex, requiring the armed forces to take on more innovative approaches.

The first lady said security encompasses not only military strength, but also the protection of human rights, economic stability, and social and environmental sustainability.

She urged the army not to discriminate against female members of the armed forces for getting married or bearing children while in service.

She said initiatives led by the government have strengthened women’s empowerment by letting women have access to training and education.“Additionally, we have equipped the women with laptops and grants to support their educational and professional pursuits,” she added.

“This is becase we believe that when you empower a woman, you empower a community and inevitably a nation.

“I commend the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria for accepting the gender mainstreaming concept in line with the Global Best Practice and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.”

“Addressing these challenges effectively requests innovative and comprehensive approaches and gender mainstreaming stands as a powerful tool in our arsenal,” the statement added.

“Gender mainstreaming is now much more than a charity and a policy agenda, this is a fundamental issue about the way we perceive and address security challenges.

“We can start by ensuring that gender perspectives are integrated into security policies and strategies, encouraging more women to join and progress within the forces.

“We must promote women’s participation and leadership in security institutions, peace negotiations, conflict resolution efforts and bringing a more reconciliatory perspective into negotiations.”

The Conference is tailored at fashioning out the right ambience for the Armed Forces in designing implementing, monitoring and evaluating operational and administrative doctrines that seek to promote and enhance capacity by leveraging gender mainstreaming in combating the myriads of security challenges in our nation.

In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the Conference, Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar said, the Ministry of Defence will ensure that important institutional measures are adopted to in- crease the awareness, knowledge and capacity of personnel for implementing gender mainstreaming, including training  programmes and gender focal point systems.

Therefore, I wish to extend my goodwill to all Service personnel that the Admin istration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will avail them with the necessary platforms and means to effectively and efficiently carryout their tasks.

Gender main- streaming focuses on bringing the perceptions and experiences of both genders to bear on policy-making. With this focus in mind, it has become impera- tive to situate gender equality issues at the centre of policy matters in all Defence institutions as being advocated by the UN. Gender mainstreaming is therefore a vital strategy to building capacity necessary to meet the ever changing security environment. 

British High Commission, Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Gill Atkinson in her remarks noted that the impulse in the role of defence and security event on racial frontline grow and become steadily more important. 

"We in the UK and Nigeria have the doctors and the masticated UNSCR 1325. This makes the role of women in peace and security fundamental to the future of our defence and our security. My journey has shown this commitments to these important issues in many ways, through us women who work in this field, but also in the protection of survivors of sexual violence, supporting the action to ensure the rights and well-being of children sexual Violence in Home Plans and the Moral Code. 

The main inclusive military and security organisations and the key to helping us meeting standards set out a new surveillance, but I think it's important to that we understand and paid tribute to the women at the grassroots who are working with their communities to bring peace and security reconciliation and supports both the women and the men in their communities. 

"So all together is to use our women in the defence and security environment. Who said the women in all local communities can't bring success? Certainly working with Nigeria, representing the British high Commission and our support operational activities here through the British military and advisers, training and operation for us shows a certain elements. 

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa said, Nigeria and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria in particular have received encomium from notable international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Africa Union for adopting commendable gender mainstreaming policies in all its military operations conducted within and outside the shores of Nigeria. 

He noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been able to attain 27.9 per cent female participation in peacekeeping operations, surpassing the 17 per cent recommended benchmark by the United Nations. 

"These deliberate efforts by the military is in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, mandating countries to develop own action plans to identify, evaluate and control efforts to achieve the objectives of Women, Peace and Security.

"The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was mooted to ensure women and societal security needs are safeguarded through increased emphasis on prevention, protection and participation of women in military operations.

The high point of the conference was the launching of the maiden edition of the Nigerian Defence Gender Magazine, a publication of the Defence Headquarters, which has the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, as the Publisher, Chief of Defence Civil Military Relations,  Rear Admiral IA Dewu as the editor in Chief, Brig Gen TI Gusau, PhD mni Acting Director, Defence Information is the production editor, while Director Gender Affairs,Brig Gen MO Ajala is the managing editor. 

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