A call has been made for the voices of women who arevictims of violence and atrocities to be heard so that they can be helped togain justice.
Miss Iyingi Irimagha,programme officer of Gender Action, GADA, Port Harcourt made the call whiledelivering a presentation at a training organized by the West African Networkfor Peace, Rivers State chapter for CSOs and journalists on, Friday May 31,2019.
She said it is important that the voice of affectedwomen should be amplified to help them attain justice as they are the mostvulnerable and violated in the society.
Introducing the participants to the United NationsSecurity Council Resolution 1325 specifically targeted at protecting women andgirls from violence especially in conflict situations, Inyingi explained thatthere are national and state action plans on UNSCR1325 and listed the keysecurity issues affecting women and girls in Rivers State which includedomestic abuse, rape, kidnapping, displacement, denial of access toopportunities and contribution to decision making.
Earlier, delivering the keynote address, nationalcoordinator of WANEP, Nigeria, Chief Bridget Osakwe explained that WANEP is apeace-building network committed to promoting peace in the West African regionand in Nigeria, the coalition of civil society organisations has a regional andstate structure.
She explained that WANEP is specially interested inwomen in conflict situations for which reason it has an organ dedicated towomen, the West in Peace-building Network, WIPNET working in different regionsof the country.
She encouraged all to be part of the network to helptackle the conflicts in the country.
According to her, WANEP is a member basedorganization which has a relationship with the Economic Commission of WestAfrican States, ECOWAS and the African Union, AU.
“We are peace-builders and not peace keepers because we live to fight another day. In WANEP we thread with caution suggestive of no dead heroes. During elections we were active and alive with monitors”.
The WANEP national coordinator charged members to be committed and sacrificial noting that in some countries women pay their way to training but in Nigeria people expect to be paid to learn.
To help ensure programmes are carried out atregional and state levels, Bridget charged network members to pay their annualand registration levies dutifully noting that external funding sources are notreadily available and when available, are programme- specific .
While welcoming participants, Rivers Statecoordinator of WANEP explained that the one-day training was organized to
Inyingi Irimagha Inyingi said it is important thatthe voice of affected women should be amplified to help them attain justice asthey are the most vulnerable and violated in the society. She pointed out arelationship between UN1325 and UN2250for youths.
In her presentation on ‘Mediation, Key to Peacebuilding, Mrs Sophia Daniel described mediation as an informal, involuntaryalternative dispute resolution, ADR approach, which is a more peaceful way toresolve issues than litigation.
Said she:“Mediation is better than arbitration andlitigation, both in cost relation analysis and otherwise. A mediator makes nodecision for the parties. To him, it is a win-win situation and it is veryconfidential while the arbitrator proffers solution that is costly like thelitigator.
“The mediator is neutral and confidential as regardsthe two parties in a subjective justice. The relationship continues and no oneloses in a win-win situation. It is internal and less expensive because theparties choose their mediator while arbitration non-formal, more expensive asyou pay ahead with a tendency to destroy a relationship”.
Guiding on steps to mediation, Sophia said a groundrule for ease must first be established. This includes room for telling a storywithout interruption; identifying position and interest, identifying solutionsand reaching agreement that should be binding.
She stressed the attendant benefits of resolvingdisputes through mediation as lowering of the blood pressure of concernedparties, relaxation of the nervous system, muscles and tendons; release fromfear, depression, insomnia and guarantee of optimism.
The resource person also taught on personalitytypes. She said understanding personality types will help you deal withsituations when mediating.
A practical mediation was session was then carriedout by the participants to demonstrate what she meant. Venue was the office ofKebetkache Women Development and Resource Center, D-Line, Port Harcourt.
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ConstanceMeju is publisher of Port Harcourt based National Point Newspaper and Genderand Human Right Justice advocate