The honourable Minister for women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen has stated that the goal of the Annual Forum of Women, Peace and Security Sector Reference Group as needing collective actions to actualise goals in that aspect.
The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs (HMWA), Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG has charged the various Security institutions in Nigeria to mainstream gender issues.
The Minister made the remarks on Tuesday, 31st January, 2023 in her special address at the 3rd Annual Forum of Women, Peace and Security Sector Reference Group held at Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Auditorium, Abuja.
The Minister stated that after all, that is the main reason while the Reference Group was established in 2020 by Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with UN Women as a platform.
The Minister defined mainstreaming gender within the security sector as being to ensure the protection of female officers’ human rights including integrating their concerns into sector’s operations.
Tallen expressed delight that the Department of State Security Services (DSS) was now at the point of validating its Gender Policy; just as the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was going ahead to also validate its own.
She stated that with this trend, “the Security Agencies are fully prepared to defend the votes of Nigerians in the spirit of one man one vote, one woman one vote.”
The 2023 theme of the Forum: “The Role of Female Security Personnel in the 2023 General Elections”, Tallen said, was carefully chosen to recognise the inherent potential of female security personnel to promote free and fair elections as well as to ensure violence free voting that will encourage increased women political participation.
Tallen also acknowledged the men and women of the Armed Forces for paying huge prices at defending territorial integrity of Nigeria in the face of overwhelming security challenges.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Commandant General, NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi represented by Deputy Commandant General, Dr. Nnamdi Nwani (DCG in charge of Crisis Management), said that there was zero tolerance for issue of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Service.
He said that many channels have been opened where cases of SGBV can be reported and dealt with promptly. He said the corps have mainstreamed women in strategic positions of the organizations including the establishment of Female Combatant Squad.
In her address, the UN Women Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong said not only the capacity of Security personnel is needed to be built, but women generally need increased capacity in order for them to competitively vie for elective positions.
She noted that Women’s ability to vote for candidate of their choice or make themselves available to be voted for is hampered by socio-cultural and religion considerations.
The high point of the event was the unveiling of “SGBV App” by Honourable Minister of Women Affairs (HMWA), Dame Pauline Tallen.
Goodwill messages came from British High Commissioner to Nigeria-Mrs. Catriona Laing; Mercy Corps-Country Rep. Mr. David Gatale.
Other dignitaries and organizations represented at the event were: the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Minister of interior and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Development and Disaster Management.
The Inspector-General of Police, the Controller-General of Federal Fire Service and the Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration service, Civil Society Organization (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and others were present at the 3rd Forum.