BeninCity, Nigeria… Edo Women’s Development Initiative EWDI(a group of Edo women living in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, who are concernedabout societal issues in Nigeria and Edo State in particular) has urged both thefederal government of Nigeria and Edo State government to promote women’sparticipation in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction.
While joining the rest of the world to mark thisyear’s international women’s day for peace, the Chairpersonof the Edo Women Development Initiative (EWDI), Dr. Rosaline Okosun, used theglobally celebrated event to advocate for the development of a culture of peacein Nigeria. RemindingNigerians that the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament reflecton women who have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims ofviolence and those who dream of a peaceful world.
‘‘There is no bettertime for us to come together as women and Nigerians to address the seemingchallenges of ethnic violence, insurgency, herder/farmer clashes, kidnapping,banditry and other forms of abuse ravaging our communities, affecting mostlywomen and children. While countries around the world are experiencing variousdegrees of conflict, Nigeria’s case is peculiar and requires major stakeholdersto involve in proffering lasting solutions to unending conflicts which haveclaimed thousands of lives. Many families have been rendered homeless, childrenare denied access to education, and women are at the receiving end withincreased cases of abuse and poor reproductive health. This has created theneed for various interest groups to galvanize their people to embrace peace’’Okosun urges.
TheInternational Women’s Day for Peace & Disarmament is a reminder ofgovernment responsibility to foster peaceful coexistence among citizens andshould be taken seriously as part of process to identify and eliminateperceived threat to peace in our society. Just as the theme suggests: “Visionary Women: Champion of peace &Nonviolence”women have not only contributed to the peace which Nigeria’sdemocracy rests on today, but have continued to uphold the virtues needed forour continuous existence as a people. Despite the enormous challenges ofdiscrimination, gender inequality, human rights abuse and other crimestargeting women, women have never relented in championing the fights againsteconomic, socio-cultural and political injustices, through nonviolent approachto change society.
These women consciously build supportive, nonviolent alternatives and loving communities as well as advocating change. Women are most affected especially where many families are rendered homeless. Edo Women’s Development Initiative (EWDI) uses this medium to applaud women who have resolved conflict in their homes, schools, communities, rejected violence as counterproductive and stress the need to restore respect, establish justice and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From women’s rights and racial justice to disarmament and gun control, the drive for nonviolent change has been championed by visionary women. Today, let us remember and celebrate all WOMEN who have fought so hard to ensure other women have a peaceful world. Okosun added.
About EWDI: To positive address societal issues relating to women,with special attention to the girl child in Edo State, and in Nigeriagenerally, impacting meaningfully on their welfare and general wellbeing, andaiding the sustainable development of Nigeria.
For moreinformation, kindly contact:
Dr. Roseline OsemetitiOkosun.
Chairperson, Edo Women Development Initiative, EWDI
#Genderand Transparency Project (GAP)
ConstanceMeju is publisher of Port Harcourt based National Point Newspaper and Genderand Human Right Justice advocate