The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Friday disclosed that women constitute approximately 80 per cent of the global population of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audi, made the statement during the International Inter-Disciplinary Colloquium on Gender, Peace and Security in Africa, held at the University of Calabar.
Audi said that conflict and crisis had adversely affected the socio-economic circumstances of women and girls in Africa, hence the need to include them in decisions related to peace and security.
He said that the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, calls on member-states to mainstream a gender perspective into matters of conflict and peace building.
He explained that the resolution addresses the diverse needs and experiences, the disproportionate impact of violent conflicts on women and the necessity of their involvement in processes of conflict prevention and peace keeping for sustainable conflict resolution.
“Studies have equally shown that of the global refugee population of some 20 million, nearly 35 per cent were in Africa.
“While women also constitute approximately 80 per cent of the population of refugees and IDPs globally.
“Women play a critical, yet largely unrecognised role in resolving crisis/conflicts.
“Recent conflicts and peace process have suggested that the establishment of sustainable peace hinges largely on the integration of women’s voices and priorities in negotiation, transitional justice and post conflict reconstruction.
“However, women and gender concerns are typically not included or considered in important state building activities, such as peace process,” Audi, represented by the Assistant Commandant General incharge of Zone L, Portharcourt, Mr James Bassey, said.
The NSCDC boss, who handed over copies of the Gender Policy Statement document of the NSCDC to the UNICAL Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, said that the corps was gender sensitive.
In a speech, Obi said the event was held with a view to address issues of gender and how it affects the development of the society.
She said whenever issues of gender were raised, they bordered much on the role women play, adding that women should be included at all levels of peace process and conflict resolution.
“As a university, we are concerned about bringing peace to the university.
“We are doing this collectively with the lecturers and students of this institution,” she said.
Earlier, the Director of Gender Development Centre of the university, Dr Brenda Akpan, said that gender was an integral component of every aspect of the economic, social, daily and private lives of individuals and societies.