By Uwumarogie Peter
Gombe – Mrs Rhoda Zira-Dia, Technical Adviser on Gender, UN Women (UN Women), on Thursday urged women to be involved in peace-building by checking acts that could trigger crises in their communities.
Zira-Dia gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe after the UN, WANEP, IPCR partnership workshop on Conflict Monitoring and Analysis for a Gender Sensitive Early Warning and Response Strategies.
The UN Official said “women have the best source of information regarding the unpleasant activities of youths that could serve as a useful tool to enhance security in the country”
The European Union (EU) funded project in partnership with the Federal and state ministries of women affairs and social development is aimed at promoting women engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria.
According to her, since women and children were more vulnerable in crises situations, it will not be out of place for women to be involved in peace building in their communities.
“In every crisis, women and children are more vulnerable. They often are the majority of the people we see in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp after any crisis. This is always the situations.
“ When there is peace in any community, this class of people benefit more. The children can go to schools while the women can engage in several societal activities to keep their homes.
“ If the women benefit more when there is peace, it will be plausible for us to be agents of peace building in our communities. Women must do everything possible to sustain peace and prevent crises.
“Every conflict has indicators that mature with time and if not checked snowballs into crisis. Women are more observant when it comes to raising children.
“This makes them better placed to provide vital information.
“If the women report unpleasant activities of their children that are being used by enemies of peace to security personnel, it would benefit the security personnel to nip ugly situations in the bud.
“ Today, some women cover up for children or youths in their communities who engage in acts that jeopardise peace or could accelerate an already volatile situation,’’ she said.
A participant Mrs Esther Philip of Cham community in Gombe, told NAN that the workshop has enhanced her orientation on the roles women can play to prevent conflicts in their communities.
She appealed to women to be vigilant, sensitive and report any unpleasant acts to the security personnel as timely as possible.