The Nigerian Army has expressed commitment to ensure gender mainstreaming in all its operations to achieve efficiency and enhance professionalism in the service.
Brig.-Gen. Lukman Omoniyi, Acting Director, Civil Military Affairs, Nigerian Army, announced this at the maiden Sensitisation Workshop on: “Gender Mainstreaming for Enhanced Professionalism in the Nigerian Army” on Monday in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by the Department of Civil Military Affairs in collaboration with the British Defence Section, West Africa.
Omoniyi said that the aim was to ensure that army personnel were abreast with the global best practices on gender issues.
He said that Nigerian Army was always confronted with gender issue mainstreaming in internal and international operations.
According to him, the workshop is in tandem with the chief of army staff’s vision to have a professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within the joint environment in defence of the country.
“At the end of this workshop, pertinent issues that pertain gender mainstreaming, international humanitarian laws and all the fundamentals of human rights would have been well spelt out to the troops.
“If they are armed with that knowledge, they will be free from unnecessary infractions, particularly those that pertain to sexual exploitation, abuse and other isolated infractions.
“This workshop is a collaborative project with the British Defence Section West Africa and it is going to provide that opportunity for us to be sensitised to gender mainstreaming and other modus of fundamentals rights related process,” he said.
Maj. Nicole Bonnie, British Defence Section West Africa, who spoke on U.K. perspective to gender mainstreaming, said that UK had been committed to implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on gender.
Bonnie said that gender mainstreaming should be felt across all activities in defence, adding that civilians were at the centre of all conflict that military were engaged in.
She said that the UK perspective on gender mainstreaming had grown from strength to strength, adding that it would make the military more operationally effective.
She noted that Nigeria was one of the focus countries in gender mainstream in the military because of its strategic importance in West Africa.
Also, Maj. Janet Osamgbi, Gender Advisor for Nigerian Army, said that the workshop was meant to sensitise personnel on how to perform on the field without gender stereotyping.
Asamgbi said the sensitisation was organised to guide officers and soldiers on the implementation of gender policy of the Nigerian Army.
She added that gender does not concern women alone but gender perspective covered men and women as well as old and young as it concerns their operational planning.(NAN)