Peace Building: Mercy Corps , KDSG Launch Women Peace Council in Kaduna
By Femi Adi
In its efforts to promote and support sustainable peace initiative in the State , Mercy Corps in partnership with the Kaduna State government has launched the Women Peace Building Council .
The Kaduna Women Peacebuilding Council is a platform with sixty (60) women of influence drawn from Kachia, Zaria ,Kaduna North and Kajuru local government areas of Kaduna State .
The launching of the Women Peace Council held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325(2000)on Women ,Peace and Security,according to the Deputy Chief of Party, Mr. Sanni Sulaima of Mercy Corps in his brief remarks during the event held Hotel Seventeen ,Kaduna on Monday ,is established to enable Women to be at the centre of creating and supporting sustainable peace; be part of decision making and Peace building processes at the communities ,local government areas and State level .
He also said the initiative supported and Funded by U.S government through United States Agency for International (USAID) , will help deepen women’s engagement in Peace building in Kaduna State by strengthening their capacities to advocate for ,prevent and resolve conflict .
In a chat with journalists shortly after the launching , the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ,Kaduna State Peace Commission , Bar. Priscilla Ankut expressed optimism that the Kaduna Women Council will help achieve the much desired sustainable peace in the State.
Her words: ” Mercy Corps is a core partner of the Kaduna Peace Commission decided that there is a need for a platform for women , so that we can hear more voices for women as we continue to sustain and consolidate on the peace we are currently enjoying in the State .
” My expectations are that because they are women of influence ,they will have the capacity and courage to work in their communities to continue to advocate for peace either to through dialogue ;through mediation or any action that can prevent conflict from escalating into violence .
“We pray and we expect that the peace that will help promote will transcend beyond their homes , but they transform it into the community and State at large .So that we can begin to witness a very mass movement for peace in Kaduna state.
“You will notice that the conversation in Kaduna State over the last month have actually changed from that of violence to that of peace and peace building .The voices of women will make that even more powerful.”
Speaking during the event , the Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, who was represented by Bar. James Kanyip, the Deputy Chief of Staff said that women inclusion and participation in conflict mitigation and prevention will impact positively on the peace-building efforts being made in different communities across the state.
She called on Mercy Corps and all other actors in peace and conflict sector, not only to sustain their support and partnership with Kaduna Peace Commission, but to deepen and broaden them.
She advised the women selected into this Council to endeavour to dedicate their time to ensuring that peace thrives in their communities.
The highpoint of the occasion was the inauguration of the 60-member Women Peace Council by the wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Hadiza El-Rufai.
Mrs El-Rufai in a brief remark pointed out that the state has been having challenges on issues of peace and charged the women to change the narrative.
She said women participation in peace building was missing in the past, and expressed happiness in the involvement of the women in the search for enduring peace in the state.
The inauguration of the Women Peacebuilding Council was graced by Her Excellency Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, the Wife of the Governor of Kaduna State, Her Excellency, Hajia Hadiza El-Rufai, Hon Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs , Mr Samuel Aruwan , the Special Adviser to Kaduna State Governor ,on Media and Communication,Mr Muyiwa Adekeye the Executive Vice Chairperson and CEO , Kaduna Peace Commission, Ms Priscilla Ankut Esq.and several other dignitaries .