In order to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2030 in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal Five (SDG 5), the precise circumstances of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict states must be addressed. Nigeria is one of the countries where the manifestations of violent conflicts and crimes have significantly heightened the spate of insecurity in Nigeria in the last two decades.

Thus, this study was principally undertaken in twelve states in Nigeria to review the impact ofsurging insecurity in the larger society, outside the households (family), on women’s lives in Nigeria within the last seven years. The states involved in the research are: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Ondo and Rivers State. Primary data were generated through administration of questionnaires, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions, involving various stakeholders including women and men from the selected communities, security sector leaders and government officials. The data were complemented with information obtained through desk review. The findings revealed that Nigeria women and girls in conflict and post – conflict situations suffer from horrendous violence and abuse, and double deprivations that increase mortality rate and vulnerability to exploitation.

The outbreak and persistence of violent conflicts and crimes such as banditry, insurgency, militancy, herdsmen attacks, ritual killings and separatist agitations have impacted on the security and wellbeing of women in varying ways. These include displacement, injury, death, loss of livelihood, psychological trauma and mentalstress. Both state and non-state actors were largely responsible for various violations of the right of women in different conflict settings. In addition, their exposure to insecurity is reinforced by patriarchal structures in the society.

Based on the findings, the study recommends among others, that government authorities, development partners, and civil society organizations should mainstream gender perspectives in conflict analysis and monitoring.

Civil society organizations and development partners should lobby government and traditional authorities to include more women in peace negotiations and agreements; governments at all levels – federal, state, and local – should partner with donors and organized private sector to implement economic empowerment programmes that are targeted at improving the capacity and resilience of women to recover from insecurity and contribute to inclusive governance in post-conflict communities; donors and government authorities to set up community-level, informal networks or platforms for women’s political mobilization to generate a mass of grassroots activists; women-led community-based organizations should be supported to lead and expand women’s empowerment in post-conflict communities; and government and development actors should prioritize the establishment of community-based structures that provide support to women and girls’ rights, especially psycho-social and mental health services to women and girls who are exposed to violence and depredation associated with insecurity.

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