Insecurity: Balanced gender representation can improve security operational outcomes – NDC Commandant

The Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, says that balanced gender representation can significantly improve operational outcomes in the security sector.

Olotu, who was represented by College Secretary, AVM Titus Dauda, said this at Two-Day Workshop on Promotion of Women’s Network/Association in the Security Sector organised by NDC on Wednesday in Abuja.

The theme of the workshop is: ‘Enhancing Gender-Responsive Security Operations and Community Dialogue Project in Nigeria (Phase II)’.

He said the event had created opportunity for wives associations of the Nigerian army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps(NSCDC), to play crucial role in achieving operational successes in the security sector.

According to him, their presence underscores the crucial role that families, particularly women, play in the strength and resilience of security institutions in an ever evolving world.

‘The security sector stands as a crucial area where balanced gende
r representation can significantly improve operational outcomes.

‘Thus, it is important to recognise and give credence to the vital roles women continue to play within the sector, particularly the vital roles women continue to play in the studies in the sector.

‘Pertinently promoting women’s networks and associations offers, among others, an effective strategy that will continue to shape gender responsive policies within the security institutions.

‘More so, these networks provide platforms for mutual support, mentorship, and skill sharing, while advocating for institutional changes that acknowledge and value women’s contributions.

‘It is believed that by fostering a collective voice and shared purpose, these networks can enhance individual efforts and create widespread, positive change within security institutions,’ he said.

Olotu said the workshop was expected to engage participants in comprehensive discussions as well as shared insights into identifying viable and actionable strategies that would insp
ire policy changes in the various security institutions.

He said there was need to create an environment where every member of the security community was valued and in part to contribute their fullest potential.

The UN Women Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, said the UN Security Council had called on all member states to ensure that women were given space to contribute to peace and security.

Eyong was represented by Mr Peter Mancha, Programme Specialist, Women, Peace and Security, UN Women, at the event.

She said the UN Security Council Resolution recognised that women were the ones that bore the brunt of violent conflicts, adding that women and children formed the majority in Internally Displaced Persons camps in Nigeria.

According to her, men are the ones that will go and fight, they get killed and they leave the women widowed and now taking the responsibility of them playing the role of both mothers and fathers.

‘But the resolution is saying, why do we always see women as victims
of violence? Why are we not seeing them as people that can contribute to peace? Why can’t we bring them to the table as we talk about peace and security issues?

‘This is because they have potentials and we are not tapping into them and that is one of the reasons why we are where we are.

‘So, they call on member states to develop national action plan to bring women on board to be actively engaged in peace and security processes,’ she said.

Eyong commended the government of Nigeria for developing the first national action Plan on women, peace and security in 2013; the second one in 2017 and the third currently being developed.

She said that there were still a huge gender gaps and gender disparities when it comes to women representation in the security sector in Nigeria.

According to her, the UN Women has decided to support the government of Nigeria to change the narrative.

The Coordinator, NDC Officers Wives Association (NDCOWA), Mrs Rhoda Olotu, commended the college’s Centre for Strategic Research and
Studies for putting the workshop together.

Olotu said there was the need to include the officers’ wives association to the drive for gender equality to be able to achieve success.

She said the workshop held profound significance not only for the security sector institutions, but also for women across the globe.

‘We recognise the vital role of promoting inclusivity and empowerment within our communities, especially within the realm of security operations.

‘Embracing diversity and offering equal opportunities for all unleashes a wealth of talent and potential.

‘This, in turn, drives innovation and leads to positive change,’ she added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria