Celebrating Women in the Security Sector: Major Janet Emeterojo Osamgbi

  September 28, 2020

Major Janet Emeterojo OSAMGBI is a Gender Advisor with the Nigerian Military. Major OSAMGBI has over 28 years in service as a military police officer and two years of service as a Gender Advisor.

Previously, she was a Military Observer in Liberia from 2010 to 2012 and in Mali from 2017 to 2018.  She joined the army because of the discipline and the respect it commanded. As a way to serve and defend the nation she loves, the army was the perfect profession that gave her the privilege to do so. In this line of work, she found a platform in which to be a role model for her peers who saw the military as traditionally being reserved for men only.

Major OSAMGBI is a champion of supporting the protection of women and children at every opportunity she gets. As a Gender Advisor in the MINUSMA mission in Mali, Major OSAMGBI made sure soldiers were trained on how to interact with women and children in the field when out in patrols. She also ensured considerations of women and children were made in the planning of operations. Beyond carrying out pre-mission Gender briefings, Major OSAMGBI creates forums for fellow soldiers to discuss how being gender sensitive can improve their performance. In addition, she frequently gathers other female personnel to create support networks and safe spaces in which they can share challenges as a team. These networks would also help them perform better in the field professionally.

At the rate of the sensitization of gender is progressing, the military is beginning to see the need of having more women in the force and is looking into addressing policies that prevent women from joining certain departments. For instance, with the Draft Gender Policy by the Defense Headquarters and the Creation of the Women Corps for the Army, female soldiers are now also able to be fighter pilots in the Air Force. Major OSAMGBI is optimistic that moving forward, we will see greater involvement of women in keeping the peace.