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Army operationalizes Gender Main-Streaming to tackle Human Rights Infractions, imbibe Best practices in battle theaters.

The Nigerian Army on Monday disclosed that it has put modalities in place to operationalize issues that bother on Gender main-streaming among troops in battle-fields with a view to tackling infractions that may emerge including Human Rights and Sexual Infractions’.

Acting Director, Department of Civil Military Affairs, Army headquarters, Brigadier General LT Omoniyi made this known at the maiden sensitization workshop on Gender Mainstreaming for Enhanced Professionalism in the Nigerian Army at the Command Officer’s Mess, Abuja.

He said, ‘This workshop is geared towards tackling pertinent issues that bother on gender mainstreaming, international humanitarian law, and all the fundamentals of human rights.

“These issues would be well spelt out to the troops so that they are armed with that knowledge and by so doing they would be free from unnecessary infractions as they discharge their duty.’

Noting that the workshop is a collaborative effort between Nigerian Army, Department of Civil Military affairs and British Defence Section, West Africa, Brig Gen Omoniyi said, “Issues that bothers on gender confronts us all the time, so for us to perform optimally and bring that glory back to our father land, we need this education.

“It is the first of its kind and that is why it is called the maiden sensitization workshop on gender mainstreaming for enhanced professionalism in the Nigerian Army.

“It is to allow our personnel to be abreast with global best practices when it comes to issues that bothers on gender in the operations that we are carrying out both locally and Internationally.

Delivering a paper on the United Kingdom perspective on Gender Main-streaming in the British Armed forces, the Human Security officer, British Defence Section, at the UK Embassy, Major Bonnie Nicolle said Gender main-streaming and implementation has resulted in successful military operations of British forces in Operations- because it goes right to the top etchelon.

Major Bonnie said, “The UK gender mainstreaming and the gender perspective is really growing from strength to strength.

“If you look at UN resolutions 1325 which focuses on women peace and security, we made sure that when we are looking at our doctrine and our policies, we are including gender within our first operational planning document to make sure that gender is mainstreamed though out all our planning.

“We also made sure that we have trained gender advisors in all our missions that take part in the pre-deployment training so that when our senior officers are planning their missions, they have the advisers at hand, who makes sure they get the gender perspective when they are looking at the battle field.

In her part, the Gender Advisor, Department of Operations, Army headquarters, Maj Janet Osamgbi said “Through this workshop, we intend to sensitize our personnel on gender perspective, and how to carry out their responsibilities on the field not looking at men alone or women alone because each time we think about gender we think only about women but gender does not concern women alone.

“Having gender perspective covers both men and women, old and young, as well as the disabled. Their situation and rights should be looked at during operational planning and execution. These concerns should be concerns in Gender perspective.

Asked to comment on how adherence or non-adherence to gender issues had hindered operations in the past, Major Osamgbi said, “I cannot say it has hindered performance but having women being part and having women play active role in operational planning would yield better results because you don’t have to go forward and be coming backward to plan on things which when you are gender sensitive would be taken care of.

“So with this sensitization, it keeps you abreast when planning your operations that you cover everybody and the troops as well. This because we have the policy in place but it shouldn’t just be in the books; those it is made for should be made to understand it.

She added that the gender sensitization program will be replicated in all the Nigerian Army diviisions to ensure that the personnel are well educated on this issue.

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