Niger Delta Women Peace Network – A call to Action

otahelp
Posted June 20, 2019 from Nigeria
Niger Delta Peace Network - Technical Working Group discussion

When I wrote my post  on Women Arise and Become Peace Builders little did I know that the action I was calling for has already begun as I mentioned in my follow up on Stop Violence Against Women in Politics, my Pre-International Womens Day / post presidential election review post.

I was invited to a meeting organised by AA Peaceworks (a non-governmental organisation working on non-violent election) on The Role of Women in Preventing Election Violence. At that meeting the highlights were Review of the 2019 general Election showcasing the role of Okirika & Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area Women in preventing Security Agencies from carting away the ballot boxes and scuttling their mandate. I mentioned it briefly in my previous narrative on the role these women played by sleeping for 3 days and night watching over the collation centre to protect their votes.  One of the women narrated in details how they withstood the military men from invading the collation centre.

The most beautiful part of it all is that most of the military men did not like the assignment they were sent to carry out but of course the military code is to obey the last order. They supported the women by given them nocturnal information that they should not give up in what they were doing. The showcased women action ignited the call for action and a 10 member committee was immediately formed.  This action also gave women the much needed courage in the Northern parts of Nigeria to carry out their own action in order to protect their votes too.

The forum was of the view that the committee should form their terms of reference and get back to the convening organisation. The committee was made up of grassroot women from different ethnic divides of Rivers and Bayelsa States and I made it to the committee representing Civil Society Organisation.

I took time to educate my syndicate group on the use of Technology in amplifying and raising the voices of women especially using the World Pulse community platform and so many of them promised to check out the site later. Some of them have confirmed to have signed up to World Pulse now and was included into our group work which was later adopted into our strategies. Now the committee has a social media – twitter, Instagram and facebook.

At the first meeting of the committee which happened 2 days after their formation, the following terms of reference were agreed on

VISION

To have a just and equitable society were women alongside men can achieve the highest attainable positions in society.

 

MISSION

To pursue gender equity in peace processes, politics, elections, governance and in decision making across boards in the Niger Delta.

GOAL

To amplify Niger Delta Women’s Voices for Peaceful Elections, transition of power and increase participation of women in leadership, governance and politics in the Niger Delta.

Objectives

  1. To raise platforms for broad articulation of women’s peace and security perspective and experience in the region; creating a niche for women’s participation in peace processes
  2. To galvanize women’s actions towards peaceful elections and transition of power within the Niger Delta region
  3. To amplify women’s voices and increase women’s role and visibility in governance, politics, leadership, decision making and peace building
  4. To create opportunities for information sharing and continuous capacity strengthening for increased civic engagement for women in the Niger Delta
  5. To develop result oriented, actionable strategic plans to increase women’s political participation from 2019 to 2023 as part of a pilot post-election reconciliation and peace building process.

 

Based on the above another larger women forum was planned for 9th – 11th April 2019 in Port Harcourt involving the 6 core Niger Delta States – Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo States. The preparation for this meeting is in top gear with theme – Raising Women Voices Towards Nation Building. Participants were drawn majorly from the grassroot especially communities and Local government areas where the supplementary elections will be held; states that are preparing for their governorship and house of assembly elections; civil societies and faith based organisations; Eminent women from different walks of life as mentors. It has been a roller coaster for us since then. Major advocacies are being planned around the 6 states to garner partnerships with government and private sectors.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was carefully analysed and scrutinised which has been adopted in Nigeria as the National Action Plan and have been subsequently adopted as SAP and launched in Rivers and Bayelsa States. 

This committee is an important one to watch. So far the convening organisation will be supporting us on this journey to harness the potentials of the Niger Delta women and the Nigerian Women by extension.

 

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Jun 20
Jun 20

Hi Otahelp,

Thanks for sharing your informative post about this voting committee. It definitely sounds like progress, but a lot of hard work for the women involved. What are your FB/Twitter/Instagram pages? I'm looking forward to hearing how the next meetings go and how this committee pioneers positive change for women, and Nigeria in general, by creating accurate votes and more peace and security for women.

otahelp
Jul 09
Jul 09

www.facebook/ourladyofperpetualhelpinitiativepage
www.twitter/@operpetuahelp
IG: operpetual

thank you jill for always being there.

Jill Langhus
Jul 12
Jul 12

Thanks, dear. I can't get those links to work, unfortunately. Can you please clarify?

You're very welcome!

Hope you have a great weekend:-)

Lisbeth
Jun 20
Jun 20

Congrats once again, and let's not give up in speaking up since we never know who will listen to us. Have a great day.

otahelp
Jul 09
Jul 09

Lisbeth thank you for your constant support by reading my post.

Hello, Otahelp,

Congratulations for this successful event! Thank you for inviting for women to join World Pulse, too. We’re looking forward to welcoming them and reading their stories.

Hurray to women of Nigeria!

otahelp
Jul 09
Jul 09

thank you karen yes so many of them have already signed in and i am encouraging them to share their story on this platform. thank you for your support

You’re welcome, dear sister. You are doing a great job. Thank you for your dedication to promote World Pulse! You rock!

Beth Lacey
Jul 06
Jul 06

I hope you make much progress with your committee

otahelp
Jul 09
Jul 09

thank you Beth. So much love. we surely will progress