Despite the well documented positive impact of women and women’s organizations, progress on women’s participation and leadership in politics and peace processes
I am pleased to join you to celebrate the launch of the Nigeria Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network. I commend UN Women, the African Union and Germany for all their work and contributions towards establishing this network. I also want to congratulate all the women’s networks that have come together to make AWLN Nigeria a reality.
Women’s movements around the world have been at the forefront of ending violence against women, advancing women’s participation on local, national and global levels and securing relevant legislation and policy for gender equality.
Here in Nigeria, we can point to clear examples of the powerful impact of women mobilizing around a common cause – from the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign, to the ongoing mobilization of women across party lines to strategize to end the ongoing marginalization of women in elected political office.
Despite the well documented positive impact of women and women’s organizations, progress on women’s participation and leadership in politics and peace processes is still lagging. The evidence linking women’s participation and leadership with peace and development is convincing and well known. But there is a significant gap between what we know and what we do.
Indeed, at global and regional fora, countries continue to make laudable commitments on gender equality, but they are not backed with the requisite financial and political support at national level. With the establishment of this network and strong coordination, you have the critical mass needed to demand the financial and political support women deserve. Because of the breadth of this network, you also have the range of expertise to access every sector and every room that has before now been closed off. The Network will be a powerful accountability and advocacy tool for the women of Nigeria towards realizing national development goals and the SDGs. I look forward to witnessing and supporting the work you will do.
The Secretary-General has made prevention one of his highest priorities, including in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He has outlined a broad vision for prevention, focusing on the need to mitigate not just conflicts, but also wider stresses and shocks that can lead to crisis and stunt development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our blueprint to create resilient, stable societies and to address the root causes of violence of all kinds. This means a strong focus on inclusivity, with a special emphasis on mainstreaming women’s rights and gender equality across our prevention and development work. It also means empowering women’s movements and networks to advocate for and hold member states to account on commitments towards the 2030 Agenda.
The African Women Leader’s Network, Nigeria Chapter can count on the United Nations’ readiness and commitment, as a strategic partner and ally, to support your efforts at sub -regional and national levels.
Once again, congratulations.