For sustainable development to be achieved in any country the need for peaceful coexistence cannot be overemphasized.
It was against this backdrop that the National Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) Kaduna state Chapter organized a workshop for its members with the theme: Peace: A Veritable Tool and Instrument for National Development, in Kaduna North West Nigeria.
Delivering a Paper at the workshop, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, a former Minister of Environment, called on the government of Nigeria to live up to its responsibility of promoting peace and development, which should be evidenced in security of lives and property, quality education among others. “If there is good governance in which these and other services are delivered to the people and where there is equity, justice and the rule of law, the possibility of conflicts arising from state activities will be reduced, she said.
While calling on women journalists to arise as peace builders for the development of their communities and the country at large, she emphasized that “all hands must be on deck otherwise we will all be consumed, as government alone cannot handle issues of insecurity”.
She enjoined government to let justice prevail stressing that “all those responsible for one form of evil or the other must be exposed and dealt with in accordance with provisions of the law of the land. There must be no sacred cows”.
In her opening remark, State Chairperson of NAWOJ, Juliet Oyoyo said the workshop was necessary considering “NAWOJIANS apart from being journalists working under challenging conditions are also home builders and partners in progress with our families and will take advantage of opportunities afforded in seeking ways to ensure a peaceful society for our children as women and mothers.
In her Presentation titled: Engaging Media to Promote the Role of Women as Peace Builders, Sekyen Dadik, Coordinator of Africa Media Development Foundation, (AMDF) noted the low involvement of women in decision making and peace negotiations even when they are the worst hit in conflict situations.
She added that women’s contributions in rebuilding communities, building peace and overcoming trauma has often been ignored and remained invisible. Hence, Dadik called on women journalists to leverage on their platforms as reporters and producers to contribute towards peace building especially promoting the strength of the woman as a peace builder.
The Workshop was preceded by a peaceful rally by executives and members of the Kaduna State NAWOJ calling on all and sundry to resist violence and embrace peace.
Dadik stressed the need to “Increase and strengthen women’s participation in all aspects of peace negotiations and conflict prevention and also emphasize the important role that women play in sustaining peace, especially in fragile environments”.