COVID-19: UN women partners UK govt to strengthen women capacity, participation, peacebuilding initiative

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has partnered with the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office to implement a project on strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID-19 response and broader peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria.

With funding from the UK Government, the programme is being implemented in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna States aimed at advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and addressing key gender issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is being implemented by supporting the participating state governments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision making.

A statement from UN Women made available to Journalists in Bauchi contained that the Launch of the Costed Model Action Plan (CMAP) and Inauguration of Committees to Implement the VAPP Act in Bauchi State is very essential in the successful implementation of the project.

The statement further contained that the launch will provide a strategic opportunity to pilot the establishment of the plan, which will enhance the effective implementation of the VAPP Act.

It explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified pre-existing gender inequalities and revealed stark gaps in the status quo on gender equality in Nigeria, the deeply entrenched inequalities that are putting women at higher risk of the pandemic’s social and economic impact especially as women are in the front-line of caregiving in response to the pandemic and thus more vulnerable to its impact.

The UN Women lamented that despite the gendered impacts of the pandemic and the overrepresentation of women in frontline healthcare roles, women are inadequately represented in decision-making and response planning mechanisms such as national and state COVID-19 task forces and response and recovery plans.

It further stated that With Bauchi State being the first state in the North-East geopolitical zone to domesticate the VAPP Act. The current political commitment to addressing violence against women by the Bauchi State Government, as well as other policy developments around advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in Bauchi State, provides a strategic opportunity to pilot the establishment of a costed model action plan to enhance the effective implementation of the VAPP Act.

As such, under UN Women’s project on strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID-19 response and broader peacebuilding initiatives including through strengthening state capacity in preventing and responding to GBV.

UN Women in furthering this goal engaged with Bauchi State Government and key stakeholders in the state to develop a draft Costed Model Action Plan (CMAP) to Implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in Bauchi State.

The Launch of the CMAP and the inauguration of the Committees is a part of the efforts to strengthen Bauchi state’s institutional capacity to implement VAPP law in the state which is a key contribution to preventing, mitigating and responding to GBV incident which reportedly escalated in the state as other parts of Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Strengthening State Capacities and Women’s Participation in COVID Response and Broader Peacebuilding Initiatives Project in Nigeria seeks to strengthen state capacities and women’s participation in COVID-19 response and broader peacebuilding initiative through three pillars of engagement.

The project will seek to develop a costed model action plan for the effective implementation of the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Act, piloted in Bauchi State just as it will seek to strengthen women’s role in the dialogue, mediation and peace processes in Plateau and Kaduna States.

The project will also establish a collaborative framework between women’s organisations and women in leadership to increase women’s meaningful participation in the COVID-19 response and recovery.

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COVID-19: UN women partners UK govt to strengthen women capacity, participation, peacebuilding initiative

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