Annan centre seeks women participation in ECOWAS peacemaking

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The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre has sought the participation of women in activities planned towards restoring peace in Nigeria and other West African countries.

The centre lamented the exclusion of women in the peacemaking processes, despite accounting for the highest figure of victims and survivors.

Speaking during a training for Women in West Africa in Abuja on Monday, the Head, Women, Peace, and Security Institute of the centre, Joana Osei-Tutu, called on government institutions to create opportunities that would ensure the meaningful participation of women.

She said, “The security situation in the ECOWAS region over the years has been of significant concern to all actors. Of particular worry is the worsening security situation in the Sahel especially, and its threat to peace, security, political and overall development of countries in the region.

“Added to this is the gendered dimension of these insecurities where women and girls are often the most affected. The factors at play in this bleak canvas of general insecurity are interwoven and often difficult to disentangle.

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“In recent years, there has been a call to go beyond the numbers in promoting female participation in peace processes and rather, create opportunities that ensure the meaningful participation of women.

“The biggest victims and survivors are women. Neglecting women has not solved the problem. We hope that through this training, participants will be able to enhance their skills, leverage their power, networks and alliances, and influence decision-making in the peace and security environment.”

The Deputy Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana, Dr. Emma Birikorang, said security agencies and institutions should understand the critical roles that women play in ensuring peace and security.

He also emphasised the need for a holistic conversation on peace and security in the region.