Nigerian women mediators collaborative initiative ( NWMCI) has been launched with a call on government for the inclusion of women in critical committees to engender sustainable peace and development of the nation.
The call was made by the former minister of women affairs Iyom Josephine Anienih during the launch of the initiative in Abuja.
Speaking Anienih who described women and their efforts as been seen as invisible lauded the NWMCI effort to ensuring that women are recognized in what they do while calling on women to stand up to the occasion so as to take the initiative to the next level.
In her remark the National co- ordinator NWMCI and country director WILPF Nigeria, Dr Joy Onyesoh decried the fact that women constituted only two percent of mediators, eight percent of negotiators and five percent witnesses and signatories in all major peace process.
Dr Onyesoh also pointed out that there are insufficiently trained women mediators in African countries for high level negotiation and most often times are locked out of due to discrimination.
She however advised that for peace initiatives to remain sustainable women and women rights must be included at all and every level.
Earlier in his remark the representative of ECOWAS and the director public affairs of the commission, Dr Aderemi Ajidewa said the organization would work together in partnership with through inclusivity of the female gender while pledging the support of the ECOWAS.
Others who spoke includes deputy head of mission Norway Embassy Ingrid Skjolaas, deputy head of mission Sweden Embassy Fanny Nylander and representative of the UN Semiha Abdulmelik expressed joy at the launch saying they are looking forward to collaborating with the Nigerian women and other relevant agencies in peace and mediation.
The high point of the day was the formal launch of Nigeria Women Mediators Collaborative Initiative and the unveiling of two books published by the initiative to help educate women on what they need to know about peace and mediation.
See more pictures from the occasion below: