Gender and Nigeria’s Internal Security Management
Emerging developments since the return to democracy in Nigeria in May 1999 indicate that the country’s national security continues to face severe internal challenges. Nigeria experiences increase in violent internal security challenges which, attempts by the security agencies to contain, appear not to be effective nor gender conscious. Nigeria’s internal security architecture and management is not gender balanced and women’s security concerns are not mainstreamed into security. This chapter extends the perception of security beyond its understanding as primarily a state concern to examine the dynamics of gender in internal security management. Gender is not just ‘about women’—it is about men and women and the different roles, characteristics and behaviour expected or assumed of them in a society. Gender plays a critical role in determining the types of crimes that women, girls, men and boys tend to commit, and to be victims of. Gender factors such as age, disability, gender, ethnicity and class are central to our understanding of security. Therefore, taking into consideration gender issues in internal security management is crucial to maintain peace and security.
From the backdrop of the gender implications of unrest in the Niger Delta Region, the chapter discusses the growth of militant Islamism primarily in Northern Nigeria, the hazard of raiding armed Fulani herdsmen and the Zaki-Biam invasion, among others. The chapter concludes that gender sensitivity to internal security management is crucial to the overall objectives of any security measure or decision to restore normalcy and that the management of internal security can no longer be understood in one-dimensional terms, as protection from external enemies. Other non traditional aspects of national security, the protection from internal enemies, ignorance and despair especially as it concerns women in particular, must be entrenched.
KeywordsGender Peace Security Security management
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